On October 30, 2023, Mission Innovation and the United States Department of Energy’s Office of Clean Energy Demonstrations convened an MI Financing Masterclass – bringing together experts working to de-risk early-stage clean energy projects with policymakers who are designing funding programs that leverage mechanisms to reduce the risk for producers and consumers of low-carbon technologies. As MI member countries continue to deploy demonstration projects, improving understanding of the mechanisms that that can de-risk project finance for emerging technologies will be critical to continue to scale-up these investments.
Participants heard directly from international associations, industry, and government experts advancing these mechanisms to help de-risk clean energy demonstration projects. Expert speakers included the First Movers Coalition (Nancy Gillis), Energy Transition Commission (Alasdair Graham), ArcelorMittal (Brad Davey), Volvo Group (Niklas Gustafsson), Hintco (Timo Bollerhey), the Australian Department of Climate Change, Energy, the Environment and Water (Peta Olesen) and was moderated by the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Infrastructure (Leslie Biddle). Key learnings from the discussion included:
- Public sector investments from MI Member Governments must stimulate significant private sector follow-on investments. The public sector cannot fund the energy transition alone.
- Early demand signals are critical to scale-up emerging technologies across hard-to-abate sectors. The First Movers Coalition is pulling together this demand signal from 85 top global corporations and non-profits – working across many sectors of interest to MI’s Missions and other work programmes.
- Tailored financial solutions are needed at different stages of a project’s maturity level, recognizing that risk exposure and cost of capital are reduced as projects scale.
- Corporates are taking steps to support innovative technologies and approaches, including in hard-to-abate sectors. Government policy that can provide increased certainty and security can help to accelerate these actions.
- Innovative financial approaches to stimulate both the demand and supply side in support of technology and market ramp-up are being deployed today in key sectors (e.g. hydrogen). Continued testing of these instruments, and knowledge sharing of best practices will continue to support the effectiveness and scale-up of these mechanisms globally.
The resulting Think Tank Report from the Financing Masterclass can be found here. Stay tuned to MI’s website and social media for news on future MI Think Tank events
The MI Think Tank was launched in July 2023 to supercharge knowledge sharing and dissemination on high-impact clean energy RD&D topics among the MI Community and beyond. Through member-driven workshops and events, the Think Tank accelerates collaboration and best-practice exchange between members and partners on cross-cutting issues related to the successful design and implementation of clean energy innovation policies, programs and collaborations.