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Opinion

The clean energy money circuit – who’s paying the bills? | Podcast

To deploy renewables at scale, where are the big US banks putting their money?

Back in May, we heard from two climate economists – Gernot Wagner and Bruce Usher, both from Columbia University. Together with host of the show, David Banmiller, they explored the flow of capital going into the four largest sources of renewable energy: hydrogen, nuclear, solar and wind. Examining where the money is coming from and where it’s going?

It's coming primarily from venture capitalists, but in the last two months, there have been significant changes and evolutions in the industry.

As we accelerate towards our net zero future, with the goal set for 2050, total capital investment necessary to achieve it has been estimated at $275 trillion. Between 2010 and 2019, investment in renewables topped $2.6 trillion, so with three decades to go we need to increase that amount a hundred-fold.

Today, we get another perspective on the financing for the energy transition. Serge Tismen is Managing Director and Global Head of Clean Energy Transition at Citi in New York and joins David to discuss the market as he sees it.

Is this $275 trillion figure accurate? Serge explains that it could be 270 trillion, but some have estimated it at 120, or 195. What are the key criteria that investors are looking at when considering new projects and infrastructure? A year on from the IRA are we continuing to see impacts in the same sectors?

Diversification is key. Investment in mining for critical minerals, battery recycling and the steady growth of new technologies such as geothermal all need to be considered. Serge and David examine it all.

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