Solar crowfunding scheme catches light

A project to site 749 solar panels on social housing in Berwickshire is the most effective crowdfunding campaign ever hosted by the investment platform Abundance Generation

The scheme, called Oakapple Berwickshire, will be Europe’s largest crowdfunded solar project having raised £700,000 of its £3.1m target since launching on October 31. 

And Abundance said it was the most successful campaign it has hosted in terms of turning visits into investment, reflecting the growing prominence of clean energy investment.

Phil Taylor, the chairman of project operator Oakapple Renewable Energy, said: “A growing number of people are looking to make ethical investments and this type of project allows them to invest in renewable energy projects, enabling them to make money while supporting the planet.”

Bull market

The early success of the project is indicative of growing confidence in renewable projects, as cleantech investment grew 16% last year according to a Bloomberg New Energy Finance report.

In response to this news, Ian Thomas, managing director at Turquoise International – a leading merchant bank specialising in energy and the environment – commented: “”At Turquoise, we are delighted by this data, as it highlights a step up in the maturity of the cleantech and renewables sectors at a time of turmoil in the traditional energy industry.

“We believe innovation is key to achieving a sustainable future for our energy landscape, so welcome wholeheartedly the inflow of new investment.”

“This strong upsurge reflects more projects moving from feasibility to final stages, as well as increased levels of support for smaller companies looking to break into the market with new and exciting technologies.

And it’s not just institutional investors and multinational corporations that are benefiting from the renewables boom; last week crowdfunding platform Trillion Fund opened investment for what could be the largest crowd-funded wind project ever.

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