Goldman Sachs banks on renewable energy

There are times when the amount of money required to develop renewable energy supply can seem daunting and the sources of financing scarce. However, that has not been that case in the renewable energy sector of late, with another sign that diversified financing sources are seeing the potential of green energy including photovoltaics.

Goldman Sachs is the most recent to join the list of diverse companies or investment banks making funds available for renewable energy and solar. Google, Warren Buffett’s MidAmerican Energy Holdings and now Goldman Sachs have all been making solar and renewable energy a priority investment in recent months.

Last week Bloomberg New Energy Finance reported that it was observing a transformation in solar financing, as investors and companies were both attracted to renewable investments in a "continuing low interest rate environment". Describing it as being, "in the midst of a transformation", Bloomberg covered the transition in its report, "Re-imagining US solar financing".

The Goldman announcement, as reported by Reuters, is that it will make investments into renewable energy both with client and company funds. The announcement was expected to be made at the company’s annual meeting last week.

The bank’s US$40 billion funding target will apply to investments in solar, wind, hydro, biofuels, biomass conversion, energy efficiency, energy storage, green transportation, efficient materials, LED lighting and transmission. Because the investment targets are diffuse and the target US$4 billion a year, some analysts have interpreted the decision as "greenwashing" or only superficial.