The Greening of Wall Street
It’s not only politicians who want to see the Europeanization of America’s energy and industrial base. Wall Street and the broader financial community have also become a major force pressing for the total decarbonization of the U.S. economy. Wall Street is not normally seen as a hotspot of altruism, of course—but now the Street is humming with ESG consultancies, “green” funds, and IPOs for alternative-energy firms. The aggressive embrace of “save the planet” policies reflects not just the cultural preferences of many financial elites but also their economic advantages: it’s easier for high-margin businesses largely immune from rising energy costs to signal their climate virtue. The same goes for Silicon Valley and Hollywood. The politics of energy becomes, then, another staging ground in the battle between coastal elites and the American Heartland.
Global New Investment in Renewable Energy by Asset Class ($billion)
- Global investment in renewable energy has exceeded $240 billion annually since 2010; from 2004 to 2017, its cumulative total was $2.9 trillion.
- In 2017, solar ($161 billion) and wind ($107 billion) accounted for over 95% of the global investment in renewable energy.
- Investors are attracted to the stable, predictable cash flows linked to regulated contracts designed to prioritize investment in wind, solar, and biomass.