the frst three quarters of this year. This is in contrast to
conventional energy, which was included in 44 percent of
infrastructure portfolios; transportation, telecommunication, social infrastructure, and water/waste were included
in even fewer.
Institutional investors are keen to fnance renewables
projects because they share the characteristics that make
infrastructure attractive, given their obligations, long
investment horizons, and relatively stable cash fows. Additionally, renewable technology provides the opportunity to
create “good jobs,” as it lies at the crossroads of traditional
infrastructure and technology.
What if the new administration could develop policies
and pursue investments that reduce carbon emissions
while creating jobs, promoting energy security, and invig-
orating the economy? Renewable investment could, for
example, support the creation of new transmission lines to bring rural wind
energy to urban power markets. It could help to develop battery storage tech-
nology to address intermittency challenges and ensure continuity of electric-
ity supply. And it could upgrade transportation infrastructure to support the
adoption of widespread vehicle electrifcation.
Over the next 20 years, more innovation is expected to occur in the power
and utilities sector than has occurred since Thomas Edison discovered electricity. The pace of change is really quite amazing — and renewable energy
has been driving much of that growth. Reinforcing that growth via a steady
fow of investment and supportive policy initiatives will create the jobs, training, exports, and energy security that should be a priority for the administration and the country.
From a utility-scale solar perspective, the answer is
renewable energy can absolutely be classifed as infra-structure. In fact, it already is given that these facilities
are fnanced, engineered, procured and constructed as
stand-alone power plants that operate to the same independent system operator (ISO) standards as other power-generating facilities with design lives of at least 25 years.
Signifcant renewable megawatts have been connected to
the grid over the past decade comparative to other forms
of power generation in the United States over the same
period. Yet all you hear in the mainstream media is about
oil, natural gas, clean coal and pipelines. The reality is
Advisory Lead, PwC
(with input from
and Marc Powell,