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Analysis of Project Finance

NREL analysis helps potential renewable energy developers and investors gain insights into the complex world of project finance. Renewable energy project finance is complex, requiring knowledge of federal tax credits, state-level incentives, renewable attribute markets, renewable technology installation and operation costs, and many other site-specific considerations. NREL conducts research, performs analysis, and produces reports and analysis tools on:

  • Project-level finance (terms, structures, and innovations)
  • Renewable energy financial policies such as feed-in tariffs, clean renewable energy bonds, and power purchase agreements
  • State-of-the-market for renewable technologies
  • High renewable penetration scenarios
A map showing the dollar (millions) amount of Federal Section 1603 awards.
Section 1603 Program awards have been made to projects in all 50 states, Puerto Rico, and Washington, D.C
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Highlights of Recent Studies

Renewable Electricity Faces Financing Challenges with End of Federal 1603 Grant Program

This study summarized the impacts of the expiration of the Section 1603 Program of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, which offered project investors a cash payment equal to and in lieu of the 30% federal investment tax credit, as follows:

  • Less-established renewable power developers, especially those with smaller projects, could have more difficulty attracting needed financial capital and completing their projects.
  • Development of projects relying on newer or innovative technologies that lack extensive operational track records may be slowed because many tax equity investors are seen as highly averse to technology risk.
  • Projects relying on tax equity financing likely will be more expensive to develop because of the transaction costs and potentially higher yields required to attract tax equity capital.

To find out more about this study, please download: §1603 Treasury Grant Expiration: Industry Insight on Financing and Market Implications

Find out more about NREL's financial analysis efforts, please visit:

  • Renewable Energy Project Finance website provides the latest analyses, market insights, publications, models, tools and data produced by NREL's Renewable Energy Finance Team.

Find out more about other published financial analyses:

For questions about this project, contact Karlynn Cory via our Webmaster page.