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Expert voices: Julian Dash of Copacity

Photo Illustration of Julian Dash with concentric circles and overlapping shapes next to him

Photo Illustration: Natalie Peeples/Axios. Photo: courtesy of Julian Dash

Rooftop solar, efficiency tech, microgrids — they make communities more resilient and slash electricity costs. And as Julian Dash points out, the Inflation Reduction Act allocated a billion-plus in funding and incentives to make sure those boons flow to affordable housing.

Why he matters: Dash is founder of Copacity, a Rhode Island-based software provider that aids towns, nonprofits, public housing agencies and affordable housing owners through the procurement process.

  • Dash was previously director of Rhode Island’s Renewable Energy Fund, so he knows a thing or two about clean energy financing.

This conversation was lightly edited for length.

What was the big story in clean energy/climate tech this week?

What would you add to the narrative?

  • With the new IRA incentives, the value of renewable tax credits for affordable housing can go as high as 70%.  
  • These projects are evaluated and awarded state housing funding — essential for overall project financing — by their ability to leverage additional funding, lower their capital and operating costs, and reduce development risks.  
  • This IRS process will provide affordable housing developers with clarity on all three — and result in projects with renewables being more competitive for funding.
  • In short: Affordable housing proposals with renewables will be more competitive than those without.

What's going under-noticed or under-covered in clean energy/climate tech?

  • The sheer amount of activity happening within the startup, accelerator, incubator [space] and other activities supporting and investing in climate tech innovation and entrepreneurship.
  • Previously, I could name the top one, two, maybe three in a quick response. Now there are so many more!

In three-ish words, what change would you make to clean energy/climate-tech investing?

  • Minority ownership versus minority jobs goals.
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