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Crowdfunding for renewable energy projects

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Dietram Oppelt

Sep 1, 2012
11:02

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Can crowdfunding (through online platforms) for renewable energy projects be a success model, be catalytic for a large number of projects? Can it work accross borders? What does it take to get there?

James Atkins

Sep 1, 2012
12:34

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I heard that there is a new possibility in the USA from this year to use crowdsourcing to raise equity without the normal regulatory process. However, it would take a lot of people to raise the amounts of money needed to make a difference. Say you want to raise 50 million euro for a wind farm. It's drop in the ocean for an investment fund, but you'd need 50,000 people to commit 1,000 euro... 50,000 is a hell of a lot of people, and not very many people can speculate with even 1,000 euro! As wealth gets more and more concentrated, crowdsourced finance becomes less probable, I think.

Rob Laubacher

Sep 1, 2012
03:41

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Interesting idea. These articles describe how crowdfunding models might be used to to finance renewable energy projects and several companies/organizations that are trying to push this idea: http://cleantechnica.com/2012/04/23/clean-energy-crowdfunding-crowdfunding-wind-solar-projects-in-the-uk/ http://gigaom.com/cleantech/how-crowdfunding-could-revolutionize-solar/

James Greyson

Sep 19, 2012
05:17

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I'd like to see fossil fuel subsidies go to renewables and efficiency - so the conventional energy companies are left to crowdfund their new projects!

Mark Hurych

Nov 24, 2012
12:46

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James, I think a carbon economy could channel funds in the way that you describe so that crowd sourcing would not be such an issue. I still have not heard a reason why we can't do the other kind of crowd sourcing: Connect the world in a global grid. Everyone on the sunny side (or in a windy place) that doesn't need their excess energy contributes to the night side of the planet. Even Jeremy Rifkin http://www.terrawatts.com/ is at this. Is this physically impossible? [The benefits would be immediate zero carbon footprint and ample energy for all.]

Jelmer Hoogzaad

Mar 14, 2013
02:00

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Ecotoo, crowdfunding for renewable electricity is very well possible. In the Netherlands we have a company called "windcentrale" (https://www.windcentrale.nl/). Their FAQ #7 explains their model but since it is all in Dutch let me give you a hand: The Windcentrale divides a wind mill over several 1000 pieces. Every "windshare" has an expected production of 500 kWh per year. Participants can buy 1 or more shares to a maximum of 85% of their historic consumption. The generated electricity will be divided amongst the shareholders during the mills life-time and delivered at their homes. This gives participants price-stability and guaranteed 100% sustainable energy. Try an internet translation on their FAQ for more information. They explain very nicely how they solve construction lead-times etc.

Guy Dauncey

Mar 14, 2013
02:16

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Mosaic is doing this for solar energy in the US: Solar PV Crowdfunding Pioneer Mosaic http://cleantechnica.com/2013/01/30/solar-pv-crowd-funding-pioneer-mosaic-joins-with-sp-dupont-others-to-make-the-sun-bankable/
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