Clean Energy Finance Bootcamp


We need to transition toward a more environmentally sustainable society given both pollution and its health effects, and the impacts of extreme weather and climate change. The production and consumption of energy are the largest contributors to these concerns and so the transition to a clean energy economy is essential. The increasing energy needs of the world's growing population make this an ongoing challenge. At the same time, energy security and affordability and social and economic inequities must also be considered. New technologies and effective policies are needed to help drive increased deployment of renewable energy and energy efficiency. Finance is also a key lever to drive the implementation of clean energy. The availability and cost of capital is a key determinant in scaling renewable energy and energy efficiency technologies.

This bootcamp introduces the finance aspects of the clean energy economy. There is a focus on renewable energy generation, as mass electrification using clean generation sources is necessary to sustain our energy-dependent lives and economies, as well as energy efficiency. Finance will be discussed as a barrier to, or enabler of, greater adoption of clean energy.

By the end of the bootcamp, students should be able to:
1.    Summarize some of the financial techniques for bringing clean energy to markets
2.    Understand basic financial models for evaluating clean energy opportunities
3.    Discuss some of the key opportunities and challenges faced in transitioning to clean energy

The bootcamp is designed to provide students with practical knowledge about the clean energy economy with a focus on finance. A variety of different teaching methods will be used including lecture, interactive discussion, role-playing, and a hands-on assignment.

During the bootcamp, the timing and content identified below may be adjusted slightly if needed in attempt to support the targeted learning outcomes.

Schedule Overview

Day One 

  • The Context of Clean Energy, (including PechaKuchas, a storytelling format with 20 slides, each shown for 20 seconds)
  • Key Finance Concepts and Modelling Energy Projects
  • Dinner
  • Cash Flow Model Demonstration

Day Two 

  • Breakfast
  • Hands-on Exercise with Financial Models
  • Key Principles for Energy Lending
  • Role-Playing Exercise
  • Lunch
  • Financing Mechanisms for Clean Energy
  • Class Debate
  • Wrap-up and Conclusion

About the Instructor


Curtis Probst

Curtis Probst is CEO of New York City Energy Efficiency Corporation. NYCEEC is a public-private-philanthropic partnership that finances energy efficiency and clean energy projects in New York City and the surrounding region, with a focus on disadvantaged communities. Before joining NYCEEC in 2018, he was a Managing Director and the Head of Sustainable Finance for RMI. Previously, Curtis worked in investment banking for over 24 years. Most recently, he was a Managing Director and the Head of Corporate Structured Finance at Goldman Sachs where he worked for over 15 years. Before joining Goldman Sachs, he worked at Salomon Brothers for over 8 years.

Since 2016, Curtis has also been an adjunct faculty member of Columbia University where he teaches a graduate level course in clean energy finance. He has also taught at Dartmouth College and University of Calgary. In addition to his other professional activities, Curtis has held board positions at several organizations and has spoken on sustainability and finance at numerous events in the United States, Canada, and Europe. Curtis received a BComm from University of Calgary, an MPA from Columbia University, an EdD from University of Pennsylvania, and is a Chartered Financial Analyst.