A new report has been released from the Metropolitan Policy Program at Brookings on the growing interest in state-level clean energy finance banks—a new innovation in U.S. energy finance and state pragmatism. Just published, the paper can be accessed here: http://www.brookings.edu/research/papers/2012/09/12-state-energy-investment-muro

Written by Ken Berlin, Reed Hundt (the former FCC chairman), Devashree Saha, and Mark Muro, the new brief discusses why states are turning to “green” banking; describes Connecticut’s experience in starting up the Connecticut Clean Energy Finance and Investment Authority (CEFIA), the nation’s first such state bank; and suggests several possible models for states to pursue in their own bank designing depending on their particular institutional starting points.

In a way, the paper is an encouraging follow-up to the federal policy “crash” report that Brookings put out earlier this year with colleagues at the Breakthrough and World Resources institutes. With Washington gridlocked and retrenching, states are stepping up and developing sophisticated efforts to deploy clean energy, especially energy efficiency and solar. As they do, one of the tools they are looking is state-level “green” banking because it offers a powerful way to make scarce state resources go farther by drawing in private-sector capital and expertise.