Green Finance News: Green lending business grow to $ 6 billion
Green finance news recently featured green bank Wells Fargo & Company as its business grows to over $6 billion –a sixfold boost since the bank starts to finance environmental projects in 2005.
A huge chunk of Wells Fargo’s green investment in 2009 had been taken up by green building with 52 percent of the total and $3.25 billion in investment.
Second in Wells Fargo’s green investment was renewable energy with almost 30 percent or $1.85 billion. This was followed by green business with 18 percent or $1.1 billion.
Wells Fargo had deployed over $1.85 billion of tax-equity capital to over 230 alternative energy projects in the US since December 2006. These projects had produced more than 3,600 megawatts of electricity.
These projects combined can produce more than 12 billion kilowatt-hours annually, which could power renewable energy for 1.1 million homes across 24 states.
Following this, three business groups had been introduced to cater to various clients with environmental interests.
The bank had been in the green finance news headlines when it launched a national cleantech commercial banking group in November last year. The group provided commercial banking products and services for industries that produce and market clean technologies like solar and wind energy, energy and water efficiency, low-emission and electric vehicles, and smart grid.
Among the group’s solar clients are solar panel manufacturer Solyndra, large scale solar thermal power plant developer BrightSource Energy, and Colorado-based solar integrator Namaste Solar.
Services offered by the clean technology investment banking group include equity and debt capital markets solutions –which advise clean tech industries on funding and loans, and mergers and acquisitions (M&A) advisory services –which give advice on changes in ownership transactions.
Among achievements of the group in 2009 include having a $200 million senior convertible debenture offering and $230 million common stock offering for Sun Power Corporation.
Municipal clients and green public works projects like renewable energy plans and retrofitting buildings are also financed by the group. The group also helps municipalities avail financing from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, and for Privately owned residential and commercial buildings, the group has a financing plan for implementing clean energy retrofits.
Apart from financing green, Wells Fargo is also going green through reducing its environmental footprint. Last year, the bank established a target to lessen greenhouse gas emissions in the United States by 20 percent by 2018.
To achieve its green goal, Wells Fargo had upgraded its facilities and office equipment for energy efficiency. The bank had also invested in renewable energy and has resorted to video conferencing to lessen business air travelling.
Well Fargo’s banks are said to use around 20 percent less energy and 40 percent less water than traditional buildings. In 2009, 16 subsidiary banking stores have been registered for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (L.E.E.D.) rating system.
Wells Fargo had made green finance news when Newsweek magazine ranked the bank as first among banks and insurance companies and 13th U.S.’ 500 biggest companies for Green Ranking in 2009.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Ashly Sun is a seasoned writer, having travelled around the world, largely putting all her experiences and the sights and sounds she has come across to paper. She now writes extensively about topics related to green news, mostly on renewable energy, but also on a variety of related topics as well. When not travelling around the world, she is based in Central Hong Kong, taking in the myriad colours, flavours, and scents of the melting pot that Hong Kong is known for.