‘Green banks,’ poised for billions in climate funds, draw states’ attention

Read the full story at Stateline.

In recent years, several states have created or helped to fund specialized banks that lend money to homeowners and businesses for energy-saving and climate projects. Now, states have billions more reasons to establish such institutions, known as green banks.

Congress last year approved a Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund of $27 billion, largely to pour money into green banks and similar financial institutions. Newly established green banks from Nevada to Illinois are readying for federal support that could supercharge their efforts, while bipartisan leaders in places such as New Mexico and Alaska are pushing to create their own state green banks…

Green banks provide financing to support climate-friendly projects, often focusing on energy savings and solar generation in residential and commercial buildings. Such projects have struggled to obtain capital from traditional financing institutions.

Like conventional banks, green banks provide loans that must be repaid, but they often offer long-term, low-interest loans that aren’t available on the private market. Some use other tools to lower risk for private lenders or to finance projects in partnership with utilities.

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