In last minute dash, Obama administration pushes global clean energy initiatives
- The Obama administration has announced a broad range of global clean energy initiatives and investments, including financing in India and El Salvador, off-grid grants in Africa and a new report on the market for access to efficient appliances.
- The slate of announcements includes committing $125 million in financing for renewable energy projects through the Overseas Private Investment Corporation.
- The funding is a small drop compared to the $11 billion the United States has invested from 2010-2015 alone in international clean energy finance, according to the Department of Energy.
While President-elect Trump's looming presidency has worried many over the future of the clean energy technology, the Obama administration is not slowing down on global decarbonization goals.
The White House continues its progressive moves on energy efficiency, global clean energy and decarbonization, last week issuing a lengthy overview of new initiatives. Among them:
- A partnership between the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), the Department of State and the Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory to identify "a pipeline of clean energy entrepreneurs in developing countries."
- Providing $4 million in awards to eight household solar firms under the Power Africa Scaling Off Grid Grand Challenge, totaling a $36 million investment to empower entrepreneurs and investors in sub-Saharan Africa.
- Announcing more than $11 million raised for the deployment of efficient off-grid technologies globally through the Efficiency for Access Coalition;
- Launching a partnership to bring more efficient appliances tor rural Indian villages; and
- And supporting the first Solar Decathlon competition in Africa.
The USAID-State partnership with the National Laboratories aims to expand the geographic reach of the next annual Industry Growth Forum in April 2017. "This is one of the nation's premier clean energy investment event to connect early stage companies with capital," the White House said.So far, companies participating in the NREL Growth Forum have raised over $5 billion in financing.
Last week, the White House also released a report detailing the status of global markets for off-grid energy and the U.S. government's role in developing those markets. In the past decade, the market has "grown exponentially" to give millions access to basic energy services.
According to the report, worldwide there are over 20 million households powered by solar home systems, and another 6 million are connected to renewables-based mini-grids or small wind turbines.
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