New York Green Bank off to a $1B start

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo announced late last week the New York Green Bank’s first NZD$1 billion tranche of green energy investments.

The projects, which are difficult for the private sector to finance, are now possible by New York Green Bank involvement and will result in an annual estimated reduction of 522,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide – equivalent to removing 120,000 cars from the road each year or planting 15 million trees per year. The projects include a small-scale commercial solar project, energy efficiency and cogeneration projects across the city.

Earlier this year, I proposed a similar solution here. Like Kiwibank, a New Zealand Green Investment Bank would combine the best of the public and private sectors to accelerate our transition to a smarter, greener economy.

Considerable new investment opportunities lie in renewable energy plants, solar panel installations, energy efficiency retrofits, the development and the production of significant volumes of biofuels but the private sector has been slow to embrace them.

The Bank would cost $120 million over the next three years and would be paid for by aligning oil mining royalty rates to those charged internationally.

The cleantech sector is taking off internationally but National has chosen to invest in the old economies – like mining and oil drilling – which are neither jobs-rich nor sustainable.