With the beginnings of a track record to back up its claims, finance remains a solid bet for impact investors. The future looks positive as a new generation of impact-backed financial service providers hone their skills, diversify their products and discover untapped markets of underserved clients in different parts of the globe. In this blog, part three of a three-part series on impact investing in finance, we chart the future of investing in social finance.
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This week’s Sustainable Brands conference brings together some of the world’s most influential companies, to ask “what if…?” How are ants so efficient? Do they have a business plan? If not, why should we?
Global renewable energy capacity rose 8.3 percent in 2013, fueled by technological advances, cost reductions and supportive government policies, particularly among developing countries, according to REN21’s sixth annual review. Solar power capacity has grown an average of over 54 percent over the past five years.
Absent a high-enough price on carbon, a carbon tax, or direct levies on fossil fuel suppliers, “nuclear, hydro and natural gas combined cycle have far more net benefits than either wind or solar,” according to Brookings’ Charles R. Frank, Jr. The assumptions underlying and supporting the analysis highlight the shortcomings of economic models and thinking, however.
SPECIAL SERIES: Mobile Innovation
It’s been said that there’s an app for everything these days, so why should the world’s most pressing challenges be any different? That’s the message behind the Vodafone Americas Foundation’s Wireless Innovation Project Competition (WIP). Since its inception in 2009, WIP has provided funding for a range of wireless technology innovations–awarding more than $2 million to universities, nonprofits and NGOs.
Last week was a busy and eventful one for the solar energy industry as market participants from across the U.S., and around the world, gathered in Anaheim, Calif. for the Department of Energy’s (DOE) “SunShot Grand Challenge Summit 2014.” Among the highlights: The Energy Department launched a $1 million solar “soft costs” innovation crowdsourcing contest and $10 million in R&D funding for six thermochemical energy storage projects.
The $215 million bridge fund aims to usher in conservation financing-in-perpetuity for 215 million acres of Brazilian Amazon rain forest–an area twice the size of California. That will go a long way toward enabling Brazil to live up to its commitment to protect at least 10 percent of its Amazonian rain forest.
Rather than fight over limited outlets and drive up electric bills, a few innovative companies are finding ways to offer renewable, free solar energy charging stations for community use.
Concentrating solar power is poised on the cusp of a major advance as the goal of integrating grid-scale thermal energy storage appears within reach. Aiming to keep the momentum going, the DOE released a new CSP industry report and announced $10 million in new R&D funding to develop cheaper and more efficient thermal energy storage technology.
TriplePundit speaks with Andrew Winston, who also advises some of the world’s biggest companies on environmental strategy, about his new book, “The Big Pivot,” and the mega-challenges that are on everyone’s minds.
Looking to replicate the success it has had in the U.S., the partnership with the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) and Global Environment Facility (GEF) will enable Cleantech Open to scale-up its startup accelerator programs geometrically as it expands across six countries whose economies are in transition.
SPECIAL SERIES: Sustainably Attired
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