Financial analysts are decidedly optimistic about the year ahead in clean energy. In conducting interviews with experts in venture capital deployments, project finance and other investment markets, the one resounding theme I heard was a high level of confidence in the sector.
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It’s no wonder since there are so many reasons to be enthusiastic about the coming year. One analyst told me that he thinks that the overall “story” for renewable energy in 2014 will be financial innovation, i.e. new ways to bring capital into the renewable energy market. Think of the recent innovations around crowd funding that we have seen and the securitization of solar assets: these will be expanded upon in 2014.
Another analyst believes that this will finally be the year in which investors’ expectations for clean energy will match what the sector can deliver. In other words, the industry has matured enough that stakeholders now understand the technology, the risks and the potential rewards and can now invest their funds with confidence and clarity.
Does that mean that renewable energy has reached the tipping point? If we have reached a level of maturity where banks like Goldman Sachs and corporations like Kohls and Google invest without hesitation in solar plants or a wind farms, isn’t that what the industry has been striving for? Even individual investors are now able to invest (and make money) in solar projects through organizations like Solar Mosiac and Solar City. European pension funds like PensionDenmark have been investing in renewable energy projects for a number of years – the experts expect to see more large institutional investors hop onboard in 2014.
Perhaps 2014 will go down as the year that a great majority of the investment world realized that real money could be made in renewable energy and the year that we all profit many times over from our renewable energy investments.
This article and video are part of the Renewable Energy World 2014 Market Outlook Issue, complete with technology outlooks for all renewable energy technologies plus our Global Company and Product Directory. You can view the Renewable Energy Finance Outlook for 2014 by subscribing to the magazine here.
Lead image: Big Smiles via Shutterstock.