Axios Pro Exclusive Content

Expert voices: project finance for climate justice

Photo illustration of Ron DeLyons sitting between abstracted solar panel images and graphic shapes

Photo illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios. Photo courtesy of Ron DeLyons

Ron DeLyons launched a fund this week based on a thought-experiment: What would happen if a minority founder didn't have to fork over the majority of the company during fundraising?

Why he matters: DeLyons, the founder of clean-energy company Creekwood Energy, is raising up to $500 million for a new fund to invest in minority-owned businesses — and to ensure founders retain control. Read to the end to learn three fun things about him.

DeLyons shared what he's keeping an eye on in the world of climate tech.

This interview has been lightly edited for length.

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

  • Determining the rules of the Inflation Reduction Act, including program design, where and to whom assets will be allocated.

What would you add to the narrative?

  • The IRA could change the economics of renewable energy project development, as well as have a positive impact on climate justice, including BIPOC, rural, low-income communities and others who were not included in the last energy transition.

By contrast, what is going under-noticed?

  • That regulatory bodies (FERC, RTOs such as PJM, utility commissions) are not transitioning at the pace demanded by market participants and the planet.

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

  • We have the technology — deploy, deploy, deploy!

Three fun things:

💼 First job: Paper route, age 10.

👑 Proudest investment: Bought web address for $75, sold it for $25,000 four years later.

🤦 The one you regret: Not buying more web addresses.

Go deeper