Third Annual Renewable Energy Finance Forum-West Conference (USA)

The third annual Renewable Energy Finance Forum (REFF)-West hosted by the American Council On Renewable Energy (ACORE) and Euromoney Energy Events in San Francisco this week brought together more than 400 investors, industry executives and policy makers for an engaging discussion on the state of the renewable energy industry, public policy, financial markets, and corporate strategy in the renewable energy sector.

During the two-day session, the over 60 speakers and panelists expressed optimism about the U.S. leading the renewable energy industry as well as the available financing strategies for new renewable projects – both public and private – following the recent economic crisis.

“2009 was supposed to be the worst year for renewable energy – it turned out to be the best,” said ACORE President Michael Eckhart. “Against the backdrop of political turmoil and uncertainty about US policy, financial transactions in renewable energy are continuing at a furious pace here in 2010.”

Speakers from leading renewable energy companies, investment institutions, nonprofits and government organizations focused on the U.S.’ need to seize momentum in the marketplace and questioned how to drive the renewable industry forward through policy, funding and commercialization. The overriding theme was that if the U.S. doesn’t act now we risk losing our position as the leader in the renewable energy industry. This was underscored by various speakers, including:

* Top energy investment bankers representing world leading financial institutions who are all currently leading major deals including Kevin Genieser, Managing Director at Morgan Stanley, Jonathan Yellen, Managing Director at Deutsche Bank, Jeffrey McDermott, Managing Partner at Greentech Capital Advisors and others discussed the changing financial landscape over the last 12 to 18 months. While the state of the broader market continues to evolve, private equity investments are available for well constructed companies that demonstrate a strong and proven executive leadership and a capital investment strategy.

* Tim Derrick, CEO of Axio Power Inc., and Daniel Schochet, Executive Vice President at Ram Power Corporation, leading renewable energy developers on the West Coast, highlighted the fact that green and clean energy projects can actually achieve bankability. Scalable projects led by superior operational teams that by nature, minimize risk and cost, can build long term relationships with project financers and investment banks, and ultimately achieve effective financial structuring capabilities.

* In the wake of 2009’s American Recovery & Reinvestment Act, public officials and advisors examined the impact of new legislation on the renewable energy industry. Throughout REFF-West, the topic of policy and incentives was key point of discussion. Jackie Pfannenstiel, Assistant Secretary of the Navy, Energy, Installations and the Environment, for the U.S. Navy, summarized the need for new legislation on the renewable energy industry to help achieve the tactical imperative, strategic imperative (energy independence), and climate imperative (the effect on the environment) to further drive growth in the industry.

It’s a dynamic time with wind power development slowing and the exponential growth of solar energy development as well as the on-going work in geothermal, hydro and biomass – it’s clear from the REFF-West Conference that the global financial community is strongly supporting renewable energy development in the U.S. and worldwide.

The next ACORE and Euromoney Energy Events conference, REFF Wall-Street, will be held in New York on June 21-22, 2011.


Source: prnewswire, October 1, 2010;