Victory Bonds for Clean Energy

Published on August 17th, 2012 | by

A common challenge facing renewable energy development is the insecurity of funding. A new bill, HR 6275, the Clean Energy Victory Bonds (CEVB) Act, sponsored by Representative Bob Filner (D-CA), aims to give ordinary citizens the ability to invest in renewable energy through a program similar to World War II’s Victory Bonds.

Supporters suggest the law could help create 1.7 million jobs in clean energy, as well as giving financial backing to a wide array of proven green technologies that will make America more energy independent.

The program would be guaranteed by the U.S. government. In effect, individuals can loan money to the government to continue programs that help create renewable energy or advance energy efficiency programs, and in exchange, like all government bonds, they will earn interest on their money invested. But unlike other government bonds, this money will only be used to develop clean, renewable energy.

According to the CEVB website:

Financing made possible by CEVBs would support both the research and manufacturing of:

  • Solar (panels and other technologies)
  • Wind (turbines)
  • Geothermal (drilling water or steam wells to access earth’s heat),
  • Second generation biofuels (switch grass and agricultural waste), and
  • Electric vehicles (electric motors powered by rechargeable battery packs) and charging stations
  • Energy Efficiency (reducing the energy used by homes, offices, etc.)

CEVBs will support companies that research and manufacture cutting-edge technologies, and will provide rebates to consumers who invest in energy efficiency and clean energy technologies for their homes, as well as instant rebates for the purchase of electric vehicles. Through the use of cleaner, energy efficient products, you can expect lower utility costs, and healthier and safer living conditions by reducing local air and water pollution. Furthermore, producing and securing our own energy supply will limit price increases and fluctuations, resulting in stable energy prices for homes and businesses.

CEVBs will pay at least the market rate of other government bonds, long considered one of the safest investments around, since they are guaranteed by the Federal government. They will be available for as little as $25, and reduce the amount of tax dollars that will be needed to steer the country toward a clean energy future, so hypothetically, everyone should be behind these, regardless of their political stripes.

The bill needs your support. Call your representative (look them up here), and let them know you support the idea of the Clean Energy Victory Bonds. If you’re planning to purchase some, tell them that, as well!

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About the Author

Scott Cooney (twitter: scottcooney) is an adjunct professor of Sustainability in the MBA program at the University of Hawai'i, green business startup coach, author of Build a Green Small Business: Profitable Ways to Become an Ecopreneur (McGraw-Hill), and developer of the sustainability board game GBO Hawai'i. Scott has started, grown and sold two mission-driven businesses, failed miserably at a third, and is currently in his fourth. Scott's current company has three divisions: a sustainability blog network that includes the world's biggest clean energy website and reached over 5 million readers in December 2013 alone; Pono Home, a turnkey and franchiseable green home consulting service that won entrance into the clean tech incubator known as Energy Excelerator; and Cost of Solar, a solar lead generation service to connect interested homeowners and solar contractors. In his spare time, Scott surfs, plays ultimate frisbee and enjoys a good, long bike ride.