Empowering Native Communities Through Clean Energy Financing

Every day, we see dramatic examples of how climate change is affecting the world around us, threatening the livelihoods and economies of Native peoples across the country. Chronic underinvestment in Native communities has exacerbated the challenges of extreme weather and prevented most from being able to make the transition to self-governed, clean energy sources.

The energy transition can’t create climate justice without including, mobilizing, and providing tools to act to those most affected by climate change. The biggest challenge for the energy transition is providing affordable energy while reducing carbon emissions. 

There is currently, a historic opportunity for Native CDFIs to participate in building an Energy Finance Ecosystem of clean energy lending capital and technical assistance that will result in lower energy costs, weatherization upgrades, and the development of renewable energy resources that will not only mitigate the effects of climate change, but will also build businesses and jobs that will produce sustainable benefits for the planet and Native peoples across the United States.

Learn about the Clean Communities Investment Accelerator program and how NCN supports Native CDFIs in clean energy projects.

Clean Energy News and Upcoming Events

NCN’s Recent Travel and Advocacy Efforts

Pete Upton, NCN CEO, and Kristen Wagner, NCN National Program Director, have been on the...

Alaska Native and Native Hawaiian Entities – Elective Pay Overview Webinars

Join the U.S. Department of the Treasury to discuss how Alaska Native Entities and Native Hawaiian...

NCN Team Joins GGRF Awardee Convening in Washington, D.C.

NCN’s CEO, Pete Upton, and National Program Director, Kristen Wagner participated in a convening at...

Biden-Harris Administration Announces $7 Billion Solar for All Grants

The Native CDFI Network extends sincere congratulations to all awardees of the Solar for All program!

The Native CDFI Network is Awarded $400 Million in a Historic Bid for Clean Energy

With profound gratitude, I am honored to announce that the Native CDFI Network has been...

Free Native Green Lending Course for NCN Native CDFI Members

The Native CDFI Network, University of New Hampshire, and Inclusiv are partnering to bring you...

NCN Expands Its Historic Indian Country Bid for Clean Energy – Partners with Climate United

NCN is supporting an application to the National Clean Investment Fund (NCIF) program with Climate...

Native CDFI Network Submits Only Exclusively Native-Serving Application to EPA’s Clean Communities Investment Accelerator Award Program in Historic Indian Country Bid for Clean Energy

In a historic bid to catalyze clean energy infrastructure development in Native communities across the...

NCN’s Clean Community Investment Accelerator (CCIA) Program

Native CDFI Network was recently selected to receive the historic Clean Communities Investment Accelerator (CCIA) award as part of the Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund. This marks a historic milestone in our collective efforts to combat climate change and promote environmental justice to our Native communities and recognizes the value of Native Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFIs) as cornerstones of this work.

This historic funding, the most substantial infusion of capital ever directed toward Native CDFIs, will act as a driving force to uplift low-income and marginalized communities. It will enable Native CDFIs to fund renewable energy, energy-efficient upgrades, and sustainability projects, that will enhance well-being and create employment opportunities for Native people.

NCN’s CCIA program is made up of Native-serving community lenders and a coalition of partners with expertise in areas of clean energy finance, renewable energy project planning, development, and implementation, regulatory and compliance issues, and more. Coalition partners will be instrumental in supporting our community lenders with technical assistance so they can scale their lending activity and support clean energy projects across Indian Country.

The Native Climate Equity Fund

The purpose of the Native Climate Equity Fund (NCEF) is to build a clean energy finance ecosystem that supports thriving Native economies built on economic equity and energy self-sufficiency.

NCN serves as a hub in this ecosystem to provide access to capital and capacity building resources that will build a clean energy finance ecosystem anchored by Native CDFIs that will deploy capital to support clean energy development in Native communities.

Through a network of Native-serving CDFIs and lenders, Native homeowners, Native small business owners, and Native community institutions will have access to financing for cost-saving and pollution-reducing clean technology projects such as energy efficient appliances, rooftop solar, electric vehicles and charging stations, and more.

Role for Native cdfis

Native CDFIs serve a crucial role in supplying low-cost, long-term financing for clean energy projects in Native communities. The Native Climate Equity Fund will provide a substantial source of capital to support clean energy financing for Native communities to participate in the clean energy transition. With substantial experience lending to Native citizens, Native-owned small businesses, and tribal enterprises, Native CDFIs are uniquely positioned to support clean energy financing in Native communities.

Examples of clean energy projects include:

Distributed Energy Generation and Storage

  • Rooftop or community solar
  • Microgrids
  • Distributed wind
  • Stand-alone storage

Net-Zero Emissions Buildings

  • Electrification/energy efficiency
  • School building space and water heating
  • Replacement of backup diesel generators with storage
  • Community facility retrofits

Zero Emissions Transportation

  • Fleet electrification
  • EV charging stations
  • Clean mobility projects

Get involved!

For inquiries about NCN’s CCIA program and the Native Climate Equity Fund, investment and collaboration opportunities, or to get connected to a Native CDFI/Community Lender in your area please take a few minutes to complete a brief inquiry form.

Complete your inquiry here!