Could crowdfunding help scale up renewable energy projects?

CCBY2.0 by lamoix

Image by lamoix CCBY2.0

This recent article in the Guardian highlights the potential of crowdfunding investment in renewable energy projects.

“The minister for climate change Greg Baker recently said that crowdfunding could be an “incredibly powerful” way to deliver a “decentralised energy system, and help achieve the goal of turning the Big Six into the Big 60,000.” It may sound fanciful, with community-owned renewable schemes only existing in the UK on a very small scale. But in Germany, over 50% of renewable-energy capacity is community-owned. And online crowdfunding or peer-to-peer (P2P) lending, allowing individuals to lend or raise money for projects directly, could be set to kick-start community-ownership of renewable energy in the UK too.”

In the comments EmersonTurbo suggests that Cooperatives such as Energy4All offer their members a comparable return on their investment.

“What Abundance is doing is great. But it’s not new. A glaring hole in this article is the absence of co-operatives. Energy4All for example have run several successful community share offers and quite a few larger wind farms are now owned by and benefit the local community, giving returns of about 8% to members plus funds to be spent for the benefit of the community as democratically decided by the community (one person one vote no matter your investment amount). E4A have a share offer now for a 12 turbine, 30MW wind farm in Lanarkshire, hardly small scale (not that small scale isn’t important) – co-ops really do have the potential to challenge the big 6!”



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