Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Linkage: On PACE for clean energy

I was in San Diego this past Memorial Day Weekend and had the great fortune to chat with a clean energy pioneer who is an evangelist for the power of Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) bonds to help fuel our transition to renewable energy and help promote energy efficiency.

J.P. McNeill is the CEO of PowerHouse -- a San Diego-based company that  was "founded to enable people of all income levels to make property investments in renewable energy systems, energy efficiency improvements, and water conservation measures."

He explained to me that the PACE model offers real estate owners upfront financing for energy efficiency and renewable energy projects and that the owner pays back through property taxes over a 15-20 year period.

But there has been resistance from mortgaging agencies such as Fannie and Freddie Mac, and they are waiting for clearer national guidelines from Washington.

In my view this innovative financing system would do much to jump-start residential and commercial energy efficiency and renewable energy projects. In the past some property owners have opposed implementing these types of projects because of the large upfront costs of installing for example solar panels on the roof, even though the money saved over time through lower energy bills more than makes up for the initial cost. PACE funding would instantly eliminate any of these perceived worries.

While the PACE program is starting to roll out on the state and regional level, a massive nationwide push could start a solar panel revolution with PVs on every rooftop in America.

PACE Funding: Energy Market Breakthrough? (

PACE Financing Guide (U.S. Department of Energy)

Local Links:

Ban on Plastic Bags Approved by California Assembly (LAist)

BP Can't Stop the Massive Oil Leak -- Can Hollywood? (TreeHugger)

The Time is Now for LAPD to Take its Negative Track Record With Group Bicycle Rides Seriously (LACBC Blog)

Sharrows Test Rides Kick Off, 2 More Weeks Before Paint on the Ground (LACBC Blog)

California's Car-Free Challenge Kicks Off (TransForm)

Obama administration saves Nummi auto plant for Tesla Motors (Wall Street Journal)

Baja building first in region certified green (S.D. Union-Tribune)

National and International Links:

Obama calls out GOP on oil spill, wants to end tax breaks to oil companies and use money for alternative energy (Associated Press)

Deepwater Horizon Not Obama's Katrina (Green Energy News)

U.S. attorney general opens criminal probe of gulf oil spill (Washington Post)

Frustration grows as BP warns of long effort to cap spill (Grist)

BP Oil Spill: Maps -- Photos -- Numbers (The Daily Green)

Wind-powered lighting for the highway (Israel21c)

China's wind farms won't help without smart grid (The New Republic)

Washington Comes Closer to Bridging the Gap with its New Streetcar Network (Transport Politic)

Giant Inflatable Airship Powered by Algae (Alternative Energy)

How to Prevent Cancer (Causecast)

Dozens of bicyclists ride to USDOT Friday to tell Secretary LaHood 'thanks' (Transportation for America)

Almost a million electric vehicle charging stations in U.S. by 2015 (Pike Research)

Video: What Will Cities Look Like in the Future? (Infrastructurist)

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