What gets measured gets managed is one of the truisms of the contemporary business environment, particularly as tools for collecting and analyzing data continue to proliferate across sectors. And as more companies include “sustainability metrics” in their self-measurement tools, the sector is seeing increased management and investor attention.

Major service providers, like the global accounting and consulting firm PwC, are seeing the change on the ground at firms and rushing to guarantee they are able to help their clients manage the newly visible risks and opportunities that come with these novel and increasingly detailed data sets. Keep reading →

For years predictions of the horror show that could happen if the nation’s electricity grid was compromised by hackers proliferated in inverse correlation to the number of attacks; the sector went about its peaceful way, adding security as it added increased interconnectivity and meeting standards that left service reliability levels intact.

That “quiet war” in cyberspace is over. The US energy sector is under attack, and there isn’t any indication the situation is going to improve. Keep reading →

Renewable energy trading markets vary considerably by state and can be heavily influenced by politics, but they are functioning with apparent room for growth.

The various markets fall within the territories controlled by large utilities and independent system operators and are then further subdivided by state. Some states like Illinois fall within the jurisdiction of multiple utilities or ISOs. Keep reading →

Structuring renewable energy projects that provide acceptable investment returns is often helped by using feed in tariffs in European and other markets, but tax equity vehicles are more common in the US. Tax equity arrangements can be structurally complicated and difficult to administer, but can also provide double-digit returns when done properly.

These were some of the issues discussed by an expert panel at the AGRION Energy Summit and Sustainability Meeting held this week in New York City. The production tax credit for wind projects – recently extended for one year after much controversy – and the investment tax credit for solar are two tax equity vehicles commonly used in the US to help finance projects. Keep reading →

The solar business has been overshadowed in the past two years by rapidly declining prices, related “trade wars” replete with accusations of dumping on global markets and the failure of a high-profile company – Solyndra – pushing an unproved technology.

But solar power has in the past decade gone from a hippie style accessory and an expensive small-scale solution to a large, proven generation source with installations that can rival and exceed the scale of competing fossil fuel plants. Nonetheless, financing remains a fundamental challenge, with many projects highly dependent on market forecasts that have too little historic data for banks wary of lending to any but the most traditional enterprises at a time of intense regulatory oversight. Keep reading →

Richard Kauffman had a rapt audience at the AGRION Energy and Sustainability Summit in New York City as he opened the event with a largely off-the-cuff speech. He is a man known in the industry for handing out (and making) serious sums of money in energy, and has just been handed one of the highest profile, but least understood, new positions in the New York state government. Keep reading →