Alternative financing options subject of Calif. workshop

By Chris Hanson | April 24, 2014

The California Energy Commission Lead Commissioner on the 2014 Integrated Energy Policy Report Update conducted a workshop aimed at alternative financing options and strategies to support the development and implementation of transportation technologies which reduces greenhouse gas and criteria emissions, in addition to supporting the state’s climate and air quality goals.

“Historically, the alternative in renewable fuel and vehicle technology programs has relied primarily on grants as the form of the incentive,” said Janea Scott, lead commissioner for the IEPR. “Within this program we have been able to leverage about $2 of private funding and investment for every dollar we’ve invested.”

One of the goals of the workshop was to explore other possible funding options, such as revolving loans, loan guarantees, vouchers, rebates and other measures, Scott said. “The program makes available $100 million per year to support a portfolio of projects to meet the state’s energy, environmental and economic goals. This program is consistently over-subscribed, and we know this funding is not enough to support the transformation of California’s transportation sector.”

The workshop featured 11 presentations across a framing discussion and two panels. “What we are looking at in the future, is we are interested in matching the funding mechanism with the state of the technology or the market,” explained John Butler, office manager of the emerging fuels and technology office within the CEC, during his discussion framing presentation. In the case of electric vehicle charging, the CEC may be at a point to switch to a different funding mechanism after more internal discussion and examination, Butler added.