Background on CGC: Who we are and what we do
The Coalition for Green Capital (CGC) was founded in 2009 by current CGC CEO Reed Hundt. Reed imagined the Coalition during his time working with the 2008 Obama- Biden Transition Team, while trying to incorporate low-cost, long-term financing for clean energy and energy efficiency projects into the President’s energy policies.
The concept of the “Green Bank” was first introduced in 2009 by Rep. Chris Van Hollen’s “Green Bank Act of 2009.” The legislation would create an independent, tax-exempt, wholly owned corporation of the United States. The primary purpose of the bank would be to provide financing support to qualified clean energy and energy efficiency projects in the United States. The Green Bank, dubbed the Clean Energy Deployment Administration (CEDA), was allotted $7.5 billion in seed capital and included in the Waxman-Markey Bill of 2009. Although the bill passed the House of Representatives, it failed to pass in the Senate as a part of the Comprehensive State Energy Bill in the 111th Congress.
Given the political gridlock in Washington, D.C., CGC turned to the states for green bank support. Thanks to CGC’s continued backing and motivation, the first state green bank was founded in Connecticut in June of 2011. Officially called the Clean Energy Finance and Investment Authority (CEFIA), the Connecticut green bank passed unanimously in the State Senate as a part of a comprehensive and bipartisan energy bill and by a vote of 138-9 in the State House. CGC remains active in the deployment of CEFIA and is using CEFIA as a model for work in other states.
Most recently, Governor Andrew Cuomo of New York proposed a $1 billion New York state green bank in his State of the State address "to leverage public dollars with a private-sector match to spur the clean economy for the state of New York".
CGC is currently working with numerous other states, including Rhode Island, California, Pennsylvania, Michigan, and Hawaii.
CGC has developed interactive models that show how low cost green bank combined with other incentives can make small and large scale solar, on-shore and off-shore wind, and energy efficiency projects cost competitive with existing energy generation. In collaboration with CEFIA and The Brattle Group, CGC has developed the Rooftop Solar PV “Green Bank” Financing Model, which quantitatively shows how a combination of green bank financing and other public policy tools can lower the price paid by consumers for clean electricity to or below the existing retail price. The model can be downloaded from the “Green Banks” section of this website.
CGC has also been working with a variety of other partners, including groups in Brazil, China, India, and the United Kingdom to develop a proposal for an international climate financing mechanism known as the Global Investment Trust for Clean Energy (GITCE). GITCE would assist in scaling up the $100 billion promised by the developed world for climate mitigation and adaption projects in developing nations.
CGC members have written numerous papers, articles, and interviews thanks to the support of various media resources including Bloomberg Business Week, the New York Times, the Washington Post, Detroit News, the Huffington Post, Roll Call, and Politico. In September of 2012 the Brookings Institute published a groundbreaking article outlining various green bank models and featuring the Clean Energy Finance and Investment Authority.