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Friday, January 29, 2010

Harvard Business Review's 10 Breakthrough Ideas for 2010: Energy and Environment

#5 Energy Alternative. A Market Solution for Achieving “Green”: Financing that encourages building retrofits (by Jack Hidary). It’s not nearly as difficult to get people interested in building green projects, but retrofitting an existing structure to make it “green” is another matter. The costs of retrofitting already standing construction can be prohibitive. Indeed, institutional investors have the money but not the patience and heart for the risk of small project failures with no risk mediation. Thus, these projects go wanting.

The Breakthrough Idea: Communities should offer Property Assessed Clean Energy Bonds (PACE Bonds). Such PACE Bonds are debt instruments issued by a municipality and backed by property tax liens whose owners take PACE loans from the bond pool to retrofit their buildings. In the end, you get increased property values, lowered monthly utility rates, and create new jobs. Not bad!

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