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.
Posted: 09 Sep 2012 09:27 AM PDT http://thinkprogress.org/climate/2012/09/09/802921/harnessing-the-power-of-crowds-for-community-renewables/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+climateprogress%2FlCrX+%28Climate+Progress%29