Crowd Power, the New Force for Boosting Renewables

Back in April, President Obama signed the JOBS Act, and one of the most-heralded elements was so-called crowdfunding, which could have big implications for community-based renewable energy projects, reports John Farrell at Climate Progress. The law sought to solve a major problem: it’s hard to finance small-scale business ventures. The JOBS Act may finally allow thousands of regular folks to make a modest return (5-10%) by investing in local renewable energy projects.  The Act allows for crowdfunding for projects that raise less than $1 million, provided the project owner discloses certain financial information, such as income tax returns, financial statements reviewed by an accountant, or fully audited financial statements. The $1 million limit is the approximate cost of a 200-kW solar project, so crowdfunding could mean a significant boost for community-based solar arrays, especially in states with virtual net metering (allowing those potential investors to share the electricity output). Crowdfunding won’t mean much for wind projects, where a single turbine costs well over the dollar limit, but the JOBS Act also opened the door for more community-based wind pending appropriate changes to securities and stock regulations.


Harnessing The Power Of Crowds For Community Renewables

Posted: 09 Sep 2012 09:27 AM PDT


About melharte

Mel (Mary Ellen) Harte is a biologist (PhD) and climate change educator. She co-authored the free online book, COOL THE EARTH, SAVE THE ECONOMY, available at www.CoolTheEarth.US, and writes the CLIMATE CHANGE THIS WEEK column at the HuffingtonPost. Living summers in the alpine Rockies, she is on the frontlines of watching what climate change can do. Her diagnostic digital photographs of wildflowers have appeared in numerous publications.
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