So said Michael Eckhart, president of the American Council for Renewable Energy during a conference call earlier this week.
"The generic financing situation is impacting our sector," Eckhart said to a few hundred listening in on a conference call, which was aimed at reviewing the first 120 days of Stimulus performance.
Eckhert said in the wind and solar markets that a majority of financing has been pulled, largely by European banks, with wind financing down 75 percent from 2008, which he called a "great year". He also mentioned that the AIG and Lehman Brothers' struggles and Lehman's subsequent disappearance decelerated clean energy tax equity investments.
The year 2009 is almost like starting over, he inferred. "That's how urgent this has become."
"We have to create a new model," he said of the vacuum in clean energy financing. In terms of Stimulus funding, he proposed the US government continue its efforts in getting liquidity going through grants and loans ("70 percent of the Stimulus for clean energy will be spent by June 2010"), and then phase it out as private equity returns to what he characterized as a fast-growing market.
World markets for wind and solar are looking stronger than ever, Ekhart said, with China and Italy now starting to add to the already strong demand in Japan, Germany and California.