By Mercom Capital Group
For clean energy companies, wading through a maze of federal,
state and local policies as well as financial incentives can be a very
intimidating task. Yet it is absolutely essential in order to get to
the next level of competitiveness in an extremely dynamic and fluid
industry. Within the 50 U.S. states, there are currently over 750
varying financial incentives and over 350 different policies at the
federal, state, county and local levels to be dealt with in order to
stay competitive and take advantage of the opportunities available in
Developing a renewable energy project or starting and growing a clean
energy company is a challenging task in todayâ€™s market conditions,
with most companies dependent upon favorable policies and financial
incentives in order to stay cost competitive.
In the first illustration, we demonstrate the perplexity of the various
state policies and incentives that change almost daily. Having real
time intelligence to keep track of the markets, incentives and policies
is a must for any company looking to enter new markets and capitalize on
the benefits these policies offer. "Beyond competitive products and
technologies, clean energy firms that want to outperform in the US
market will need a sophisticated public affairs and government relations
program and savvy policy partners who are very familiar with the latest
developments from the federal level all the way down to the county
level," according to Gartner Research Director Al Velosa.
Raj Prabhu, Managing Partner of Mercom Capital Group, commented,
â€œAlong with federal and state incentives and policies, there are also
local city and county programs that cannot be overlooked and requires
constant attention. Of course, companies cannot make their decisions
solely based upon policies and incentives without looking at market size
In the second map, we have included the retail sales and retail
electricity rates, providing a truer reflection of the overall markets.
For example, Texas had a total of 344 million Mwh in retail sales in
2007 and is by far the largest energy market in the nation, larger than
most countries. These larger markets demand attention regardless of
current policies or incentives. Companies need to get into these
markets early to begin building relationships and making a presence.
Having a local presence and being part of the business community will
allow companies to work from the inside and have a say in how the
policies and incentives will be shaped the future.
Having a strong public affairs program, along with real time market
intelligence that will deliver timely information about your markets and
the policies that can affect your business is a must for clean energy
companies that are looking to make an impact in these larger markets.