Leveling the Playing Field for Renewable Energy


Here’s an important white paper that my friend Tim Kingston just sent me, that frankly, I’m unlikely to read.

Say what?

It’s on a financial issue, master limited partnerships (MLPs), that I’ve heard plenty about over the last two meetings of the Renewable Energy Finance Forum, which have both featured numerous speakers on this topic.

In a nutshell, MLPs are a hotly favored, low-cost way of raising capital for energy projects; they dominate the world of oil and gas, but currently are illegal for solar and wind. There is a movement to get Congress to make a change that would create a level playing field. To the degree that the cost of capital is lower for oil and gas than it is for solar and wind, the former have a significant financial advantage, and many see this is wrong, both morally and pragmatically. Yet the measure to level the field is running into a stunning amount of opposition.

Wow. Who could oppose such an idiot-simple concept, rooted squarely in fair-mindedness, whose only result would be a healthier, safer, and more sustainable world? Let me think on that a bit, and get back to you.

About Author

Walter’s contributions to CleanTechies over the past 4 years have been instrumental in growing the publications social media channels via his ongoing editorial and data driven strategies. He is the founder and managing director of Sunflower Tax, a renewable energy tax and finance consultancy based in San Diego, California. Active in the San Diego clean technology community, participating in events sponsored by CleanTech San Diego, EcoTopics, and Cleantech Open San Diego, Walter has also been a presenter at numerous California Center for Sustainability (CCSE) programs. He currently serves as an adjunct professor at the University of San Diego School of Law where he teaches a course on energy taxation and policy.

1 Comment

  1. That is SOOO Communist of an attitude. LOOK, when I got out of the military the first time, unemployment was running rampant among new veteran’s, ( this was the early 1970’s). I wanted to go and set up my own mechanic shop in an area of Long Island, N.Y. that had several established shops, as I was unemployed, and truly believed that I could do a better job. Not only did I NOT get any help id “Leveling the field”, the various local and State agencies did everything in their considerable power to make it impossible for me to get anywhere. The V.A. just stood back and watched, doing nothing. There were many THOUSANDS of us who were in the same position.

    I went back into the Army, and stayed in, eventually retiring. Making my “living” from your taxes, (My military Retirement checks).

    WHY should an industry that is countless magnitudes richer than we were get the field “Leveled” for THEM against the existing players in the energy field?? Letthem do it THE HARD WAY, just like WE were forced to do by the Government.