For the Obama administration to meet its goal of doubling renewable energy generation by 2011, Hudson Clean Energy estimates that about $134 billion in new capital investments will be required by then. To reach a 10 percent penetration of renewables in the nation's energy mix by 2012, as President Obama has proposed, about $217 billion will be needed.
The most important remaining impediment to clean-tech investing "is the banks not lending," Fusaro said. "We need the capital markets moving again."
The large-scale wind and solar projects of the sort that moved along before the economic crash can get a lift from nontraditional sources of finance, but they almost all still need heavy debt financing to help see them to completion.
While the renewed interest in renewables is promising, the industry won't experience a real breath of life until the banks relax and open up their tight wallets again.
"It's too early to call it spring with the daffodils and tulips up," finance specialist Gulliver said, "but I think you can see signs of green poking up underneath the Earth, so that's good."
Reprinted from Greenwire with permission from Environment & Energy Publishing, LLC. www.eenews.net, 202-628-6500