The investment climate for renewable energy is slowly changing towards microfinancing, and that can be seen with the emergence of new ventures in crowdfunding. The following platforms are the upcoming new platforms in the field of renewable energy crowdfunding, all aiming to create a sustainable future, in terms of the economy and environment. And it's no small potatoes either: though we're talking about microfinancing in terms, these platforms aim for billions of dollars in scale!
Come to the Renewable Energy Crowdfunding Conference on the 30th of October, to meet these platforms and many more !
Aishani Mishra, Solarplaza
Vision: For many years, the team at Palmetto heard stories of frustrated investors who lacked the ability to invest in projects that created positive social and environmental change. In addition, early-stage clean energy companies need to reduce investment cycles; these companies historically face large financing hurdles during the capital raise process. Palmetto’s platform bridges this gap.
Target: The company hopes to facilitate the investment of $10 billion in crowd-funded clean energy projects by 2020.
Solution: Palmetto Group's online investment platform, gives accredited individuals and companies the chance to invest in solar projects for secure returns of 6% and more.
Palmetto’s offering differs markedly from others in that the investment is put into secure debt-style instruments, and the minimum investment period can be as low as 12 months.
Launched: July 2014
Vision: The world is not changing fast enough for the better. Today’s average unit of energy production is still at pollution levels of 20 years ago. Retail investors currently have no access to secured lending to energy and water projects in emerging markets and DFI’s have the mandate to catalyze funding to increase development impact. 1to3 Capital aims to bridge this gap and seeks to accelerate the pace of change needed for the globe by including retail investor into the financial landscape, hence, inclusive banking.
Target: 1to3 Capital envisions to mobilize close to a Billion Euros by 2018, but wouldn’t be surprised this to be exceeded, if marketed well globally.
Solution: Crowd-funding platform ‘1to3 Capital’ for retail investors to provide loans to energy and water projects in emerging markets under the ‘umbrella’ of development finance institutions (“DFIs”).
Launch date: To be determined
Vision: “Simple. Renewable. For everyone!”. Investing in renewable energy projects, such as wind and solar energy projects, provides investors with a winning combination of sustainable financial and environmental returns. Until recently investing in these projects was the exclusive prerogative of institutional investors and high net worth individuals. They believe that investing in renewable energy should be easy, transparent and available for everyone!
Solution: DuurzaamInvesteren, the first independent investment platform licensed by the Financial Markets Authority (AFM), is obtained to be able to mediate between private investors and developers of renewable energy projects in the Netherlands. Through its online platform, DuurzaamInvesteren offers investors the opportunity to invest in renewable energy projects on home soil. Each opportunity is accompanied by an information memorandum offering potential investors details on the project and the investment opportunity
Launched: July 2014
Vision: Using crowdfunding as a wonderful tool to connect innovators and investors to bring clean energy technology to everyone.
Solution: Fundera is an equity crowdfunding platform dedicated to the cleantech sector, accredited by the authority responsible for regulating the Italian financial markets (CONSOB). Retail and institutional investor will be able to buy online shares of innovative startups and projects, and benefit of special fiscal incentives. Going forward, Fundera intends to develop new crowdfunding initiatives and develop new financing models.
Launch date: December 2014
Vision: Three universal problems hinder renewable energy growth: 1) lack of funding for early stage technology and project initiatives, 2) lack of visibility and public awareness for renewable energy initiatives and 3) industry-to-industry collaboration and information sharing. Renewable energy projects in their early stage of development are perceived as high risk and rarely attract large capital investment.
Solution: Rewards-based crowdfunding is public facing and nearly anyone anywhere can contribute toward a campaign. In return, contributors receive a reward that recognizes their generosity and makes them feel part of a larger community sharing a common goal. Contributors do not take an equity stake in the company—instead, they are driven to contribute by wanting to support a great idea and reinforced through a reward. Clean Reach wants to serve as a stepping stone to help projects reduce risk and become attractive for investment funding as discussed in an article published in SolarPlaza news: Link)
Launch date: February 2014
Vision: Voima’s goal is not only to build physical constructs, but communities. These communities could function as seeds that gradually grow outward, attracting new people and leading to new projects. Slowly, with the help of these growing energy communities, they can renew the landscape of consumer energy production.They believe that sense of community is the reason for people to engage with the service time after another. No other financial mechanism can provide such opportunity.
Solution: They direct funds from small-scale investors to solar and wind energy projects and pay their investors “dividends” according to the generated savings and revenue. To improve the profitability of projects, they require some on-site consumption and that is why, on the other side, they will have property and landowners as project partners. Ideally, all of the produced energy would be consumed on-site.
Launch date: To be launched in 2015
Vision: To combine crowdfunding and eCommerce for allowing individuals to contribute towards business, social and creative ventures.
Solution: The platform allows individuals to contribute towards Social, Creative and Business projects, each venture having a different model. Social projects use contribution based funding model, while Creative projects follow reward based model and Business ventures follow equity or loan based model. The platform gives ample opportunity to everyone to share his ideas and contribute. Payment is simplified and automated. YouCan2 is the partner for funding, selling and sharing your ideas and products internationally. There are no funding limits.
Launch date: May 2014
Vision: Lumo is a French crowdfunding website which enables citizens to invest directly in renewable energy projects (wind, solar, hydro). With Lumo, citizens can invest as little as € 25 in a local project that has been developed together with its municipality. Lumo’s vision is that civic crowdinvesting has the potential to contribute to the energy transition financing while providing citizens with a new saving product which is both sustainable and low-risk. The low-risk of this investment is based on the feed-in-tariff guaranteed by EDF (the French Electricity Company) for 20 years. Therefore, citizens can invest in a chosen renewable energy project alongside the banks and benefit from the same features as the bank loan (12 to 18 years maturity and a gross interest rate of 3 to 5 % per annum). Compiles with other, this investment enables the renewable energy project to be built. Once the installation generates clean electricity, it is sold to EDF through a long term contract. This revenue it produces pays back the citizen investor, with interests, over every year of its investment horizon.
In France, Lumo is pioneer in offering RES crowdfunding through debt acquisition.
Solution: Our debt-based crowdfunding website (www.lumo-france.com) enables citizens to invest directly in civic renewable energy project (wind, photovoltaic or small hydro). Investments range from € 25 to 5.000 € and carry the same features as the bank loan (12-18 years maturity, rate of 3-5% p.a.). Citizens are paid back with interests over every year of their investment horizon.
Launch date: March 2012.
Vision: To create successful community projects that are committed to developing a sustainable society. Simplify interfaces between project owners and investors, through standardised, automated processes. Veolis takes participation in the projects to represent the interests of investors.
Solution: Using the equity or lending model of crowdfunding, the platform allows investors to contribute towards renewable energy projects and new cleantech ideas. The company provides the know-how and the tools required for people to run their campaigns or for investors to know where they’re putting their savings into.
Launch date: May 2014
Vision: To help build communities! EnergyDonwell is built of a passionate team which is focused on helping build communities. A team of professionals evolved after several years of experience and research specialising in Crowd Funding, Finance and Technology and renewables and community engagement bringing a diverse background to the table
Solution: The platform connects investors to UK communities via shares or debentures , from as little as 5 Pounds. Projects will be in all renewable energy sectors such as solar,wind ,hydro and bio-fuels.
Launch date: To be determined.
(This information has been derived from direct communication with the platform representatives or from their official websites)