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Obama administration secures $4bn from private sector to back cleantech



The Obama administration has doubled an initial target of gaining $2 billion from the private sector in commitments to support clean energy innovation.

In a statement the White House notes, “Harnessing the ingenuity of America’s entrepreneurs, innovators, and technology is a crucial part of the fight against climate change.” As a result the Clean Energy Investment Initiative, first announced earlier this year, aimed to catalyse $2 billion to scale up clean technology investments.

Past investments have led to advancement in a variety of areas, including solar, wind, energy efficient lighting and advanced batteries, with the cost of solar systems in the US plummeting by over 50% in the last five years alone. It is hoped the latest commitments will advance the sector further, benefit consumers and help achieve low-carbon targets to limit climate change.

The money is coming from a variety of sources, from banks to philanthropists. One of the aims is to bring investment to high-risk, early-stage projects that have the potential to be scaled up and provide big benefits.

Speaking at a clean energy investment summit, Joe Biden, US Vice President, commented, “Only with private sector can we fully or even mostly realise the opportunities of this energy transformation. Government can’t do this, government can’t do this alone.

“Our energy future is in cleaner, cheaper renewable energy, and all of you understand that clean energy investments have provided financial and social returns.”

He added that there was no reason why 20% of the US’s power can’t come from renewable sources by the end of the decade and argued that action had to be taken now as the “point of no return” was drawing nearer.

Photo: Gage Skidmore via Flickr

Further reading:

Foresight Group has been named Company of the year at the eighth New Energy & Cleantech Awards in London

New Energy & Cleantech Awards 2015 unveils shortlist

UK government spent 300 times more on fossil fuel than clean tech

McKinsey: ‘cleantech sector is gaining steam’

IEA: low-carbon technology spending needs to triple to meet climate goals

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