Crowdfunding for energy projects
Energy access companies are increasingly turning to the crowd to raise finance. Crowdfunding platforms raised an estimated £115 million for energy access companies and projects between 2015 and 2020. 90% of funds raised were in the form of debt capital.
Energy access companies are drawn to debt-based crowdfunding as it diversifies funding sources and offers flexibility in terms of loan size and timing. Borrowers also report faster transaction times than they experience with more traditional financiers. Investors in debt-based crowdfunding campaigns are everyday people, attracted to the opportunity to align their investment decisions with their personal values.
Donors are also looking at this innovative technology-driven financing solution to better understand its place in closing the financing gap in the off-grid energy sector. A number of donors are already supporting the sector through the provision of loan guarantees and the funding of platform costs and investor outreach initiatives.
Back in 2015, we launched a cutting-edge research programme to kick-start crowdfunding for energy access companies in low and middle-income countries. The programme, Crowd Power, is funded by UK aid through the Transforming Energy Access initiative and provides co-funding to eligible campaigns and supports platforms to grow sustainably.
Crowd Power has:
- Supported over 300 campaigns by energy access companies, non-profits and micro-entrepreneurs.
- Raised over £17 million via supported energy access campaigns.
- Leveraged 8X co-funding in private capital from ‘the crowd’.
- Enabled 800,000 people to gain access to clean energy in over 30 countries.
We also produce in-depth research and analysis of renewable energy crowdfunding and P2P lending, including coverage of energy access related initial coin offerings (ICOs). Read our reports here:
Increasing lending to early-stage clean energy companies
Charm Impact is a debt crowdfunding platform focused on lending to early-stage clean energy companies. Crowd Power has provided first-loss match funding, ongoing support of operating costs and a convertible equity investment.