DC Mayor Muriel Bowser announced this week that she will introduce legislation in the coming weeks to make the city the first one in the United States to establish a Green Bank. Green Banks are innovative policy tools that seek to expand renewable energy, lower energy costs, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and create green jobs.
Green Banks are capitalized with public funds which are then used to offer loans, leases, credit enhancements, and other financing services to close funding gaps for clean energy projects. Typically, Green Banks invest in mature clean energy projects, including commercially viable technologies, such as solar energy systems, energy efficiency measures, water management systems, and clean transportation infrastructure and equipment.
Green Bank financing enables private capital to fill gaps by reducing real and perceived risk, absorbing transaction costs, and providing private investors the chance to learn about new market opportunities with the security of government partnership. By creating a Green Bank, DC will be able to accelerate the deployment of clean energy technology by removing upfront costs, leveraging private investment, and increasing the efficiency of public dollars.
“I commend Mayor Bowser for introducing this innovative legislation,” says Department of Energy and Environment Director Tommy Wells. “The DC Green Bank will pair private capital with public investment to more efficiently achieve our ambitious greenhouse gas emissions reduction targets and to further reduce our reliance on fossil fuels.”
The introduction of Green Bank legislation is part of the Bowser Administration’s continued efforts to make Washington, DC more resilient to the effects of climate change and to support the commitments of the Paris Climate Agreement. Find more information about Climate Ready DC, the DC Government’s climate adaptation plan here.