Energy Crowdfunding Platforms

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Compiled by James Lester [1]


Solar Mosaic

James Lester [2]:

"Solar Mosaic has said it wants to be the “Kickstarter for solar”, enabling people to invest their own money into solar energy projects large and small. In Solar Mosaic’s case, once he rules surrounding equity crowdfunding are written, investors will earn a return from each project’s eventual revenue. Solar Mosaic thus far has raised nearly $400,000 from over 400 investors to finance six solar power plants. Together, Mosaic’s first six projects created 120 kW of clean solar energy in California and Arizona, produced 2,350 job hours and will save community organizations an estimated $438,000 on their utility bills over the next 20 years.

Solar Mosaic recently received $2.5 million in Series A funding. The round was led by Spring Ventures with the participation of Serious Change, Jim Sandler, Steve Wolf, Tom Chi, and a group of angels from the “Toniic” investor network. The company says it will use the new funding to build out its platform for crowdfunding on a larger scale.

Daniel Rosen, co-founder of Solar Mosaic stated, “solar loans are backed by a revenue-producing asset (electricity) and the building owners are just continuing to pay for the electricity that they are used to paying for day in and day out. There is little risk to investors that the building’s owners will default on their electricity payments, particularly since they are also saving money on their energy bills from day one. In addition the costs, timelines and returns for solar panels are pretty transparent as the technology has become increasingly commoditized.”

On April 24th, Solar Mosaic filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission and several states to offer Solar Power Notes to the public, with proceeds going to fund solar power projects. They are now in what is called a Quiet Period, which is from the time a company files a registration statement with the SEC until SEC staff declare the registration statement “effective.” During that period, the federal securities laws limit what information a company and related parties can release to the public.'



James Lester [3]:

SunFunder is a crowdfunding similar to Solar Mosaic with a more internatuional,developing economy focus. SunFunder has developed strong partnerships with solar energy businesses around the world. These businesses provide affordable solar energy solutions to underserved communities, but the lack of access to financing prevents them from scaling up. By investing through SunFunder, a prospective investor will provide the financing that will make affordable solar energy available to people around the world.

Each solar project featured on the SunFunder platform is a partnership with one of these solar businesses. SunFunder conducts due diligence on each solar partner and works with them to post projects on the platform. Once a project is fully funded, SunFunder facilitates low-cost financing to the solar partner to fund the implementation of the project. During the financing term, as the solar partner receives payments from their customers (typically the people who directly benefit from solar), the partner makes repayments to SunFunder. SunFunder then repays investors, who earn back their principal investment and receive ‘Impact Points’. Both the principal repayment and Impact Points can then be used to reinvest in more projects.

Depending upon the final crowdfunding ruling from the SEC and FINRA, SunFunder may become an investment platform that offers additional value to investors beyond the return of principal. Thus far, SunFunder has fully funded a project in the Phillipines which will bring 100 solar powered lamps with mobile phone charging capability to households in the islands of Palawan. This will enable roughly 500 people to gain more productive hours each day to pursue livelihood opportunities, study, and spend meaningful time with their families. A second project in Chadiza, Zambia has funded a loan to purchase and sell approximately 781 solar-powered lights to families, impacting over 3,900 people’s lives. The sales will take place through a solar schools campaign, which provides lighting to students and their families at a discount. Students use their solar lights to study by and to charge mobile phones."

Abundance Generation

URL = (UK)

James Lester [4]:

'Abundance Generation allows people to invest in renewable energy projects in the UK, such as wind, solar and hydro projects. There are currently one solar and four wind projects in development, with one wind project up and running and already generating energy. Each project open for investment on the Abundance website has a specific estimated return.

Users of the Abundance platform purchase debentures – essentially an IOU – and receive a regular cash sum, which is the share of the money made from generating electricity. Users can still invest as little as £5 in a project and are currently receiving an average of 5-9% return on their investment. Abundance Generation’s first project aims to raise between £300,000 and £1,400,000 – each person can pledge between £5 and £50,000– to build a 0.5MW wind turbine at Great Dunkilns Farm in the Forest of Dean.

“We call it ‘democratic finance’, says Bruce Davis, co-founder of Abundance Generation. “Enabling small investors, starting at as little as £5, to produce a regular return from the generation and sale of 100% green electricity from wind, solar, hydro and other renewable energy sources.”



James Lester [5]:

'CleanCrowd is a crowdfunding platform currently under development. CleanCrowd combines these essential elements into a method to get funded for early and growth stage companies that have a positive environmental impact. They plan on using revenue based lending to provide capital with a flexible repayment plan based on a percentage of generated revenue."


URL = (UK)

James Lester [6]:

"Microgenius is a platform designed to make it easy for people to find and buy community shares in sustainable energy projects in the UK, and also to make it easier for communities to promote and manage their share offers. If a project generates energy from certain sustainable sources, an investor can earn money per kilowatt hour generated from the the feed-in-tariff (FIT) for electricity generation and the renewable heat incentive (RHI) for heat generation. The exact amount is determined by these tariffs at the time of installation and the capacity and type of technology. The target return per year for community energy projects is typically between 3% and 5% gross (excluding tax relief). An investor may also be able to claim Enterprise Investment Scheme (EIS) tax relief too, which will in effect increase your return."


URL = (Germany)

James Lester [7]:

"SunnyCrowd is a German platform that labels itself as “the first crowdfunding platform for sustainable energy, in which each with a small amount of renewable energy projects can participate online.” An investor may be able to expect a better ROI on renewable energy projects in Germany than in the US and even the UK, due to the fact that solar and wind power are increasingly the cheapest electricity options thanks to Germany’s aggressive renewable policies.

(The following platforms act more as an entrepreneurial ecosystem that helps start-up business match up with interested investors. Both platforms are focuses on accredited investors such as Angels and VCs, but are monitoring the eventual rules behind crowdfunding for equity and debt.)"



James Lester [8]:

"OnGreen is a cleantech social marketplace where members from across the globe work together, connecting the best ideas in cleantech to funding and expertise. The OnGreen Deal Marketplace offers a cumulative $2.0 billion in investment opportunity from innovative companies from across the globe. These deals span 256 cleantech sectors and range from small seed rounds to large expansion and project financing rounds. Right now, OnGreen focuses on accredited investors, however the final rulings on crowdfunding could open access to OnGreen’s platform to all investors."


URL = (UK)

James Lester [9]:

"Skipso, similar to OnGreen, is an online platform and business to business marketplace entirely focused on sustainable innovation. Skipso’s virtual ecosystem brings together entrepreneurs, investors, researchers, policymakers, professionals and businesses from the Cleantech across the globe. Skipso allows users to seek solutions to their internal business and technical challenges, access capital to grow their business and commercialize their products and services on a global market. Investors use Skipso to find and fund exciting new ideas and projects from Cleantech innovators around the world.

Donation-Based Energy Crowdfunding

(The following crowdfunding platforms are solely donation based.)

Green Fundraising

James Lester [10]:

"Green Fundraising is an online platform to support projects that focus on environmental or social responsibility. Entrepreneurs and non-profits can seek funding from the public (referred to as “crowdfunding”) by posting a project on Entrepreneurs and non-profits can seek crowdfunding from the public by posting a project on Projects can offer rewards to contributors, but the website isn’t intended for soliciting equity investment. There is no indication that GreenFundraising will change this philosophy if and when the SEC rules come into effect."

Green Unite

James Lester [11]:

"GreenUnite is a crowdfunding and educational platform focused on helping to launch important products, technology and content dedicated to creating a more sustainable world. The platform connects individuals and organizations with green supporters in order to create a community that thrives on connections and interconnections that spark meaningful change to educate others on the effects of climate change. In addition to getting an idea crowdfunded or supporting an important project, GreenUnite also provides the option to donate a portion of funds raised to green U.S.-based charities that are personally selected by the project’s creator."


James Lester [12]:

"GreenFunder is a global fundraising site for socially responsible projects and businesses. Projects range from simple student field trips to complex green business start-ups. The site is designed to help anyone – entrepreneurs, nonprofits, teachers, kids – get the funding they need. Individuals and organizations can test, market, fund, and sell their projects, products, or events – all risk-free, and retain 100% ownership. Projects are featured as campaigns, each with a funding goal and a deadline. Each campaign offers rewards to their funders – products, experiences, and/or recognition – at different funding levels."

The Green Crowd


James Lester [13]:

"The Green Crowd is a new crowdfunding site that exclusively supports and funds green and sustainable projects across the entire world."