It’s an environmentalist nightmare. In the US, the per capita use of petroleum in energy-intensive homes continues to increase. This leads to greenhouse gas emissions and diminishing returns in fossil fuel supplies.
In the UK, the premium for power over nuclear energy increases by 30% to 70% a year, creating public mistrust about security of supply and other environmental issues. Huge sums of public money are spent on nuclear power projects but there are still two reactors in the UK without full power operations for 30 years.
The global cost of replacing the fossil fuel economy with renewable energy sources could be up to $40tn (£30tn) in today’s dollars. In order to fund clean energy it would take $7tn (£5tn) annually from the developed world over the next 30 years.
Investment opportunities are increasingly visible in green assets, but this has not yet materialised in a significant way. To get the share of the global market in investments now would create a significant economic impact. In the EU the estimated clean energy market size is around €630bn (£590bn) in a 20-year period, where the richest countries in the world are contributing just €230bn (£207bn).
As part of the Heartland Finance Initiative, we want to show that small-scale financing can create substantial economic benefits, and that countries can use state-owned enterprises to play a key role in growth. We envisage the seven cornerstone pillars of a new cooperative finance ecosystem to be:
▪ infrastructure and energy
▪ energy services
▪ solid waste services
▪ information services
▪ sustainable business model services
▪ information-enabled products and services
Future Fund Non-Executive Chairman, Former Chairman of Government’s Advisory Committee on Climate Change, and former member of the advisory committee on business, climate change and development