Bloomberg NEF launches open source clean energy investment platform

FiRe aims to match ideas and investment and nudge policy initiatives.

Bloomberg New Energy Finance (NEF) is pushing a new open-source ideas and investment implementation IT platform called FiRe that it hopes could start to reverse the slowdown of capital into clean energy. The company said its data showed that while world-wide annual investment in clean energy increased from around $50bn in 2004 to just over $300bn in 2011, since then it has been declining. It was down 11% year-on-year in 2012, and in the first three quarters of 2013 declined a further 19% against the same period the previous year.
 However, it said analysis showed that the transition to a cleaner, safer, more resilient energy system required global investment in renewable energy and adjunct infrastructure like smart grids to increase by between two and three times within the next decade. Finance for Resilience, or FiRe for short, is an IT platform that will collect the best existing proposals for increased investment in clean energy, subject them to metrics tests, and then identify the investors that could scale up the ideas. It will start with clean energy but expand over time to cover other relevant sectors.Michael Liebreich, CEO of Bloomberg New Energy Finance said FiRe would also look at proposed energy and financial regulations and innovations, capacity building and education. He said FiRe would run through a structured process. First, to reach out and identify all active practitioners, inventory and characterise their proposed interventions for clean energy. Second, to transparently identify the most promising initiatives in terms of potential scale and ease of implementation. Third, to marshal resources to drive these priorities to large-scale implementation as quickly as possible, working with existing multilateral implementation platforms, ministries and other external stakeholders. Bloomberg NEF plans to run FiRe in six streams: distributed energy in the developing world; developing world project finance; energy policy; financial regulation and disclosure; new investors and products; cities and municipalities. Liebreich said FiRe was looking for ideas which could, if implemented, drive at least an additional $1bn of annual investment into clean energy by year three in each of the streams.