Slow Money for Soft Energy: Lessons for Energy Finance from the Slow Money Movement
Energy infrastructure is decarbonizing, shifting from dirty coal to cleaner gas- and emissions-free renewables. This is an important and necessary change that unfortunately risks preserving many problematic technical and institutional properties of the old energy system: in particular, the large scales, high aggregation, and excessive centralization of renewable energy infrastructure and, importantly, its financing.
Large-scale renewables carry environmental, social and political risks that cannot be ignored, and more importantly they may not alone accomplish the necessary decarbonization of the power sector. We need to revive a different approach to clean energy infrastructure: a “softer” (Lovins 1978), more distributed, decentralized, local-scale strategy. To achieve this, we need a fundamentally different approach to the financing of clean energy infrastructure. I propose we learn from the “Slow Money” approach being pioneered in sustainable agriculture (Tasch 2010),...
KeywordsWind Farm Energy Investment Energy Infrastructure Technological Path Large Wind Farm
This study was supported by a EPSRC Supergen grant.
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