Afsaneh Beschloss made the case for investing in renewable energy projects in developing countries, particularly in China, Africa and India.
Beschloss, who was previously the chief investment officer of the World Bank, is now the CEO of a hedge fund, Rock Creek. “Why I’m so bullish is that the technology is in a different place,” she said, while speaking at Fortune’s Brainstorm E conference on Monday in Carlsbad, Calif.
In the past 25 years, only ten countries were using any sort of renewable and clean energy, Beschloss explained. But, now many more countries are adopting these new, cleaner forms of power thanks to improvements in technology, which has lowered the cost of financing projects like solar and wind. She cited one study, which estimates the cost of solar energy to fall 25% in the near future.
As for China, Beschloss is particularly bullish because the country has a real need for alternative forms of energy. “If China decides to be the world’s greatest manufacturer of goods and energy, then they need to do something about it,” she said. “Locals can’t breathe the air in China and that will have a major impact on pushing politicians to support renewables.”
Unfortunately, one drawback on the investment side is finding potential projects to invest in. Beschloss said she is actually creating her own lists of projects in renewable energy in developing countries, but it’s “still very difficult” for investors.