Reader's View: ‘Green banks’ can help shift to clean energy

They offer loans with the expectation of repayment but without the usual emphasis on profit above all.

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I’m excited about a bill being considered in the Legislature. HF 2336/SF 2301 would establish the Minnesota Climate Innovation Finance Authority. This nonprofit public benefit corporation would use various financial tools to speed our transition to cleaner energy, make our infrastructure more resilient, and put people who are most harmed by climate change in the center of its mission.

It could help families invest in clean energy by combining public and private sources of money, aggregating small projects to reduce costs, offering loans, creating tools to reduce risk for private lenders, and in other ways.

This would be an effective way for us to move forward on our 100% carbon-free electricity standard, using the unprecedented federal money available in the Inflation Reduction Act.

Several states already have these “green banks.” They offer loans with the expectation of repayment but without the usual emphasis on profit above all. This means lower-income people can build proven, technically viable projects, with repayments used to fund more projects. It creates a “virtual cycle” that moves us all forward together. It could even help Minnesota regain its leadership role in the shift to clean energy.

Stephanie Hemphill


Rice Lake

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