Sustainable Finance News Roundup: GE Acquires Smart Buildings Sensor Firm DaintreeNetworks

The Top Sustainable Finance News Roundup

GE acquires smart buildings firm DaintreeNetworks to bolster new energy efficiency unit. General Electric has come closer to what CEO Jeff Immelt said in the fall would elevate the conglomerate’s “commitment to energy to the next level.” GE created a company called Current in October to help GE sell lighting services to its customers. GE is banking on Current’s recent purchase of Daintree Networks for $77 million to give it the capability to offer sensors and software to automate structures, as reported.

U.S. Senate passes bill to modernize energy policy. The U.S. Senate overwhelmingly voted to pass a major energy bill to improve the country’s energy infrastructure, including energy efficiency measures, and includes an amendment that affirms biomass as carbon neutral, sustainable and renewable, as reported.

New York’s commits $150M to clean energy. New York may want to change its slogan from the Big Apple to the Green Apple if it achieves its goal of creating 50% of its electricity from carbon-free renewable energy projects in less than 15 years. The state’s governor announced $150 million in funding for public-private partnerships to build large-sized renewable energy projects in the state to reach that goal by 2030, according to a release.

Separately, the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) announced that it will work with the U.S. Department of Energy’s Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA-E) to give funding and technical help to start-ups and universities focused clean energy.

Community solar programs launch in New York. New York City announced its own clean energy efforts with a new community solar program, Solarize NYC, which is designed to empower communities to increase their buying power, as reported.  And New York State announced its first community solar program began construction this week in Halfmoon, N.Y., under the state’s Shared Renewables Program.

Siemens sets up new $2.8M wind-to-fertilizer pilot project. Siemens AG is testing a new technology that harnesses wind power to create ammonia gas, according to Bloomberg. The power-equipment maker is erecting a plant near Oxford, England “that makes ammonia by electrolysis instead of through the traditional reaction fed by fossil fuels,” Armin Schnettler, the firm’s head of energy and electrical research, said. Siemens notes the technology could help eliminate 360 million tons of emissions a year, which is more carbon than France produces annually.

Bayer backs new Israeli cleantech fund with $10M. Israeli venture fund and accelerator, Trendlines, stuck a five-year partnership with Bayer for the pharmaceutical firm to give it $10 million to launch a fund for agriculture technology start-ups in that country, the Times of Israel reports. Trendlines will collaborate with Bayer to assist Israeli companies involved in biopesticides, packaging technology, and crop and animal breeding technologies.

Panasonic India and AES India have joined to build a 10MW energy storage project at Panasonic’s Technopark manufacturing plant in Jhajjar, Haryana, The Economic Times reports. The collaboration would mark the first large-scale battery based energy storage project in India, according to the firms.

New Development Bank commits $811M to global clean energy projects. A Shanghai-based multilateral bank started last year by Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa plans to distribute an initial round of loans totaling $811 million for clean energy projects in their respective countries, Bloomberg reports. The New Development Bank, formerly known as the BRICS Development Bank, will lend the largest portion, $300 million, to Brazil, while India will receive $75 million. The money will be used for renewable energy projects in both countries. The loans will have a 12 to 20 year life span with more plans under consideration.

Big investors commit $8B to BofA’s new sustainable finance initiative.  Seven financial firms have pledged $8 billion to Bank of America’s new Catalytic Finance Initiative focused on high-impact sustainable investments, a release notes. The group’s capital and expertise will be used to “develop and advance innovative financing structures for investments in clean energy and other sustainability focused products.” the release notes. Partnering in the initiative are AllianceBernstein, Babson Capital Management, Credit Agricole CIB, European Investment Bank, HSBC Group, International Finance Corporation, and Mirova.

BofA lends $10M to NYC green building projects. Bank of America is lending $10 million to the New York City Energy Efficiency Corporation (NYCEEC) to help that group develop  projects that decrease the carbon emissions of buildings, as reported.

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