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Funding & Financing
What Delta is Doing
Where Do You Want to GO Next?
Despite the global economic downturn, private investments in ‘green’ sectors – in particular, renewable energy, energy efficiency, green building, green business development, green job training – have remained steady or grown in recent years, totaling more than $1.6 trillion since 2007. Further substantial investments from state and federal governments, such as the 2009 Stimulus, have contained unprecedented mandates for clean energy, electric cars, and green manufacturing. The U.S. Department of Energy alone was given more than $90 billion for green investments, effectively converting the agency into the world’s largest venture capital fund – for a time.
With government funding tapering off, and private investment shrinking, barriers to obtaining financing for green projects remain. Investors interested in short-term gain are unwilling to wait to realize return on investment. Business owners who lease property often cannot justify investments in permanent green features with long-term paybacks. It is difficult to package mortgages for non-conventional projects. Market conditions often make green development projects appear riskier to the businesses considering them. Standards used in project evaluation, especially as related to cost-escalation assumptions, can undermine a green project’s financial feasibility. Conventional lenders are risk averse in the current economic climate and reluctant to fund innovative technologies, even those clearly ready for commercialization. And navigating the process to obtain and spend government funds – which come in a variety of forms (grants, loans, tax incentives, bond financing, etc.), flow from several agencies, and come with an assortment of strings – can be challenging.
What Delta Is Doing
Delta understands the opportunities and challenges facing green business development and brings together the right people to obtain the necessary capital to support projects in emerging industries. Delta currently has money available for loans to green businesses. Our financing work involves the following strategies to increase quality investment in the growing Green Economy:
• Direct Investment – Delta’s Green Business Development Center and other Delta programs provide seed money for green start-ups and investments in growing green businesses. These efforts help fill a gap left by traditional financing structures that are often unwilling to take risks on green ventures with a long-term payoff. Delta’s investments provide the impetus for emerging business ventures to grow into sustainable leaders, and they create needed jobs fast.
• Funding Application Assistance – Delta helps manufacturers and other businesses, government agencies, and nonprofit organizations analyze their green financing needs, identify appropriate government investment opportunities, and pursue funding through complicated applications for tax credits, loans, and/or grants. Our staff provides a realistic assessment of potential green upgrades, costs, predicted paybacks, and environmental and economic impacts.
• Sustainable Financial Models – Delta works with partners to create sustainable financial models to facilitate the implementation of energy conservation and renewable measures through our Energy Financing Program Design and Implementation.
• Loan Administration – Delta has a strong track record of success ensuring that the government’s green investment dollars flow efficiently and effectively to the highest-priority projects. For example, Delta is administering Cook County’s $1 million investment in energy efficiency improvements to commercial and industrial facilities. Since that’s not enough money to reach every eligible facility in the county, Delta is working to ensure that funding goes to the most socially responsible, environmentally impactful, and economically viable projects that can be held up as successful examples of the Green Economy advantage.
Where Do You Want to GO Next?
• Green Business Development Center
• Cook County Energy Efficiency Program
• Green Economies in Weak-Market Communities
To explore additional green opportunities, visit our Green Economy Navigator.