ROTTERDAM, The Netherlands – Crowdfunding has become increasingly important as a source of financing for renewable energy, and the platforms are starting to make a real difference.
At last year’s edition of the Renewable Energy Crowdfunding conference, we were introduced to crowdfunding, the financial innovation that bridges the gap between financing demand and supply for renewable energy projects. Since last year, crowdfunding has proved that it is here to stay, with today’s industry landscape in a constant state of motion. New platforms have been established, existing ones have grown significantly, and some have disappeared. Crowdfunding has become increasingly important as a source of financing for renewable energy, and the platforms are starting to make a real difference.
The tables below show the top leaders of renewable energy crowdfunding, ranked according to amount raised and projects listed – both those that are fully funded and those still seeking funds. The total amount of money raised by the ‘Big 5’ has more than quadrupled in one year’s time, today totaling €144 million compared to €31 million last year. Trillion Fund’s achievement is particularly remarkable, considering they occupied fourth place last year. From our comprehensive overview of 24 platforms, we can see that Europe takes the lead with 17 renewable energy crowdfunding platforms established, while the USA lists at number 7. Most of the top European platforms are based in Germany, while the UK and the Netherlands follow as the most active markets. Currently, only select countries are hosting platforms, but several upcoming platforms are expected to expand the market geographically in the near future, such as Joukon Voima in Finland or Fundera in Italy.
It is interesting to note that renewable energy crowdfunding platforms based in Europe and North America are increasingly interested in the development of community projects, as well as projects in emerging markets. This trend underlines clearly the catalytic role that crowdfunding plays in funding renewable energy development in regions and markets that need it the most but which often cannot afford it. For instance, KIVA has a category specifically devoted to renewable energy projects and in this way helps to address the 1.3 billion people still eagerly waiting for access to electricity. The future of crowdfunding promises to be exciting, with new platforms being set up and ambitious projects being launched, such us Citizenergy, the first attempt for a pan-European platform to connect investors and projects from all over Europe.