Is Solar Crowdfunding the Next Big Thing?

By AltFi on 11th April 2014

Equity Crowdfunding

Crowdfunding for solar energy projects could be worth £2.9 billion in 5 years time.

Is Solar Crowdfunding the Next Big Thing?

This prediction comes from Tim Newell – Vice President of financial products at California-based SolarCity Corp. SolarCity is an American provider of energy services to homeowners, businesses and government/non-profit organizations.

Speaking to Bloomberg at the organization’s New Energy Conference, Newell said:

“This is ‘crowd’ with a capital ‘C’. Crowd isn’t a niche thing. It’s everything but that top handful of institutions.”

“You’ll see a surprising amount of assets move through this channel in the next few years and we don’t say that just because of misguided optimism. We’re saying that because we take a hard look at it and spend a lot of time talking to investors.”

There are certainly numerous causes for optimism in the green energy crowdfunding sector. A US solar energy project listed on the Mosaic platform raised $313,000 in just 24 hours last year. SunShare Community Nottingham – an Abundance Generation campaign – raised £500,000 in less than a month via the platform.

So what’s the allure for investors? As Abundance Co-Founder Bruce Davis elucidated at the AltFi Summit in March – the days of investors caring little to nothing about how their money is used (so long as they receive a good return) are over. Platforms like Abundance afford investors a return of 6-9%, alongside the knowledge that their funds are effecting a positive impact in the economy and in society.           

Due largely to the falling cost of technology in the sector, renewable energy investment has been on the decline of late – falling 41% across Europe in 2013. The question will be whether the attractive investment opportunities offered by such platforms as Abundance can reverse that trend. 

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