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Costs and Benefits of the Green Bank

In a clean-energy project, the Green Bank can potentially reduce the cost of debt by half—to about 4.5 percent in today’s credit markets from around 8.5 percent without federal support.

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A Green Bank funded at $7.5 billion could fund generation of 60 to 80 gigawatts of clean energy over a period of 20 years, or 3 to 4 GW annually. The result: Our national security will be enhanced by reducing our dependence on foreign oil. A fully capitalized Green Bank at $50 billion could:

  • Provide enough electricity to power approximately 22.9 million cars per year.
  • Decrease gasoline consumption by an incremental 12.6 billion gallons per year.
  • Decrease oil consumption by an incremental 642 million barrels per year, or 1.8 million barrels per day.

In a clean-energy project, the Green Bank can potentially reduce the cost of debt by half—to about 4.5 percent in today’s credit markets from around 8.5 percent without federal support. As the cost of debt is reduced, projects can still provide a 15 percent return on equity and meet debt coverage ratios without an increase in electricity rates. The upshot: By lowering the cost of debt, the Green Bank allows utilities to provide the same levels of electricity from clean-energy sources without passing on any additional costs to the consumer.

The result will jumpstart business investment, increase capital at reduced loan rates, lower energy prices to consumers, and spur the construction and operation of more clean-energy technology and energy efficiency projects throughout the country.

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