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United States

States join to create mega clean energy fund

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Thirteen states across the nation -- including many from the American northeast -- have joined together their individual clean energy funds to create a megafund designed to help finance innovative ideas in energy and electricity generation. The Clean Energy States Alliance (CESA), based in Montpelier, Vermont, will have $3-4 billion to allocate over the next seven to ten years, says fund head Lew Milford. "This is a trade association, for lack of a better word," he says. It was formed on the assumption that a network of funders could help build and accelerate the market. "Many of them are doing the same things. They have many of the same challenges," says Milford. The 13-state alliance (California has just joined) hopes to pool money to support a wide range of ideas, including several wind power initiatives. Collaborative efforts to help organise both onshore and offshore wind development are under way. In addition, CESA has formed a working group to try to evaluate small wind projects and community wind projects. The Massachusetts Technology Council's Robert Pratt, who heads up the state's renewable energy fund, says that joining together the funds allows more effective use of the renewable energy money. Given the political situation in Washington DC, he says, the states have to be creative. "That's the beauty of the American system; that you can have states step up when the federal government won't act."

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