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Power to the people: crowdfunding for renewable energy

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Crowdfunding for renewable energy is an innovative financing mechanisms that enables individuals to invest into projects in form of loan or equity. Alternatively platforms can be used just to provide donations. This presentations presents several case studies (Pfaffenhofen Energy Cooperative, Enerfip, Bettervest and Sun Exchange) and it compares them models. Conclusions about the model with highest people empowerment, financial inclusion and scalability potential are given.

Publicado en: Medio ambiente
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Power to the people: crowdfunding for renewable energy

  1. 1. Power to the people: crowdfunding renewable energy projects Mak Đukan, Starfish Energy CEO & Co-founder mak@starfishenergy.org www.starfishenergy.org
  2. 2. Source: Own image ABOUT STARFISH • Based in Zagreb and Berlin • Focused on the energy transition in Southeast Europe • Main areas of expertise: • renewable energy policy analysis • innovative business models for renewables • long term decarbonisation strategies • capacity building • Private consultancy projects and EU funded research
  3. 3. Source: Own image ABOUT ME and my crowdfunding resume • Renewable energy cooperatives project (2013), UNDP, Croatia • Crowdfunding for renewable energy project (2013), UNDP, Croatia • Sustainable Energy Youth Network (2015), Croatia and Greece • Crowdfunding Academy (2015), UNDP, Global • CROWDFUNDRES (2016) and CrowdfundPort (2016)*, EU *brief involvment
  4. 4. WHY CROWDFUNDING? Source: Kickstarter Supporting projects that would otherwise not get funding
  5. 5. WHY CROWDFUNDING? • NO INTERMEDIARY BETWEEN PROJECT AND FUNDING • NO BANKS, NO DEVELOPMENT ORGANISATIONS, NO INSTITUTIONS • JUST AN IDEA!
  6. 6. Why not use it for renewable energy?
  7. 7. Source: Econbrowser
  8. 8. RESEARCH OBJECTIVES • What crowdfunding model has the greatest potential in terms of people empowerment? • Which of the studied models has the greatest potential for resource mobilisation?
  9. 9. • Case study analysis • Stakeholder interviews (between April and July 2018) ๏ Energy cooperative Pfaffenhofen, Germany ๏ Zelena Energetska Zadruga (ZEZ), Croatia ๏ Enerfip, France ๏ Sun Exchange, South Africa ๏ Bettervest, Germany METHODS
  10. 10. Source: https://www.metropolregion-muenchen.eu/ Energy cooperative Pfaffenhofen Germany, Bavaria
  11. 11. ABOUT PFAFFENHOFEN • 50 km north of Munich • Institutional structure supporting local Energiewende • Stadtwerke Pfaffenhofen, Energie- und Solarverein, Bürgerenergie Pfaffenhofen (energy coop) • Aim to become 100% renewable by 2021 (70% in 2016)
  12. 12. Source: Energie und Solarverein Pfaffenhofen e.V ENERGY COOPERATIVE PFAFFENHOFEN leading the energy system transformation
  13. 13. • Members: a) citizens registered in Pfaffenhofen b) the municipality c) local companies including Stadtwerke Pfaffenhofen • Members buy shares in the coop (100 EUR per share) and can own up to 50 (max 5.000 EUR) • Each member has equal voting rights regardless of the % of share ownership (main coop principles) COOP DESCRIPTION
  14. 14. Source: Andreas Herschman, Energy Cooperative Pfaffenhofen Project example: Wind power plant Laustholz
  15. 15. Main characteristics • 3 MW, Enercon 115 • 5.5 million EUR • 3% return for investors • 20 years Financing structure (GmbH % Co.KG) • 9% Enercon • 34% Citizen loans • 57% Bank loan PROJECT EXAMPLE
  16. 16. Coop membership fee - 100 EUR per share - maximum 50 shares 1 Project development - membership fee used - 100.000 EUR needed 2 Coop members finance equity - 1000 EUR minimum loan - receive 3% over 20 years - extra profits distributed to citizens - 25% of principal repaid every 5 y 3 Bank debt financing - typical interest rate for wind park 2.5% - an SPV is set up for the project 4 Return of coop funds - Funds used for project development returned to coop 5 FINANCING MODEL
  17. 17. • Develop renewable energy resources in ownership of local citizens • Against the north-south grid highways • Do not want big companies owning the wind farms and solar parks in their district MAIN MOTIVATIONS
  18. 18. Source: Zbynek Burival, Unsplash Enerfip France
  19. 19. CROWDFUNDING PLATFORM: larger choice of projects Professional Project developers initiate project Can choose between bonds, minibonds and shares
  20. 20. Main characteristics offered in form of minibonds > 100.000 EUR total project value > about 26 million EUR project size > 22 MW interest rate > between 4 to 6% loan duration > 3 years Project structure project initiator > Valorem (installed about 1 GW of RES) rounds of offerings 1) citizens of host communities and Valorem employees > 6% return 2) citizens of neighbour communities > 5% return 3) everyone else > 4% project used to increase local acceptance, no collective governance PROJECT EXAMPLE: Bois Chardon Wind Power Plant MINIBOND PROJECT
  21. 21. Main characteristics offered in form of shares > 865.000 EUR total project value > about 14 million EUR project size > 12 MW dividend return > between 5 to 7% Project structure project operating since 2010 LAD-SELA a development agency that invested initially in the project after 5 years they decided to sell their shares to citizens new owner of their share Société Citoyenne Vincentaise PROJECT EXAMPLE: Le Renardière Wind Power Plant SHARE OFFERING
  22. 22. PROJECT EXAMPLE: Le Renardière Wind Power Plant Project structure before and after
  23. 23. • Increase local acceptance of RES projects • Marketing for project developers • Citizens included in ownership in certain cases but mainly not > offered financial participation • Hybrid model between pure commercial development and citizen governance and financial inclusion MAIN MOTIVATIONS
  24. 24. Bettervest Developing countries Source: Afrika Portal
  25. 25. CROWDFUNDING PLATFORM for projects in the developing world Subordinated loans
  26. 26. Source: Bettervest PROJECT EXAMPLE: Solar energy for rural electrification in Namibia
  27. 27. PROJECT EXAMPLE: Solar energy for rural electrification in Namibia Main characteristics subordinated loans > 209.400 EUR for 2160 solar home systems interest rate > 6.25% for five years Project structure project initiator > Olusheno Sales & Distribution Ltd. sells solar home systems through network of agents this their fourth financing round through Bettervest (overall raised 600.000 EUR) > used funds to expand network and reach more homes
  28. 28. BETTERVEST model • Subordinated loans > last in line in case of insolvency • Only Germans can invest > they have adopted the platform only to fit with German law • Most of projects (80%) based on corporate financing > an existing company hosts the project. • Others based on forming an SPV • Focus on developing countries because of a market gap > banks will not lend money to small projects
  29. 29. Source: Tech Crunch Sun Exchange Blockchain based micro-financing of PV projects South Africa (with global aspiration)
  30. 30. CROWDFUNDING PLATFORM but with blockchain based payments Sale of cells in solar PV projects
  31. 31. Main characteristics project size > 18 kW estimated IRR > 10% lease term > 20 years Project structure solar PV plant leased to South South North, an NGO that works on climate change mitigation (offtaker) Sun Exchange sells electricity to the offtaker for approximately 10% less than the market electricity price IRR projection based on the savings that the offtaker will achieve PROJECT EXAMPLE: South South North Solar PV
  32. 32. Investors buy solar PV cells - besides BTC they can use bank transfer (in local currency) and credit card - BTC payments fixed or variable (final PV cell/BTC amount determined when the crowdsale ends) 1 Solar cell owners lease agreement signed (if funding successful) - 20 years, monthly payment - lease price set to be about 10% less than electricity price 2 Sun Exchange leases the plant to offtaker - offtaker pays the lease to Sun Exchange 3 FINANCING MODEL 4 Investors receive monthly payments - can choose to have payment converted from local currency to BTC immediately - can sell BTC for EUR, USD etc. on cryptocurrency exchange
  33. 33. ADVANTAGE • anyone can participate • bitcoin can be purchased from any currency • small barriers of entry (can invest from 5 EUR) • small transaction costs • high security and transparency of payment DISADVANTAGE • extreme bitcoin price volatility • local currency risk • unpredictable cash flow > obstacle for large scale investors THE ADVANTAGES AND DISADVANTAGES OF TRANSACTING IN BITCOIN
  34. 34. 1. Collective governance - citizens participate directly in decision making of individual projects* 2. Financial participation - citizens directly own renewable energy projects and profit from them* 3. Scalability - potential to raise capital and increase renewable energy capacity 4. Transferability - potential to be transferred in various settings such as developing countries “POWER TO THE PEOPLE” and the energy transition *Source: Rüdinger A., 2016
  35. 35. 1. Collective governance - citizens participate directly in decision making of individual projects* 2. Financial participation - citizens directly own local renewable energy projects and profit from them* 3. Scalability - potential to raise capital and increase renewable energy capacity worldwide 4. Usability - ease of use in terms of legal and technical setup 5. Proof of concept - does it work? Has it been applied multiple times? “POWER TO THE PEOPLE” and the energy transition *Source: Rüdinger A., 2016
  36. 36. Collective governance Financial participation Scalability Pfaffenhofen Energy Coop Enerfip Sun Exchange High Moderate Low High LowModerate Low High Usability ModerateModerateLow Bettervest Low Low Moderate Moderate Moderate Proof of concept High High High Low
  37. 37. MODEL COMPARISON
  38. 38. MAIN CONCLUSIONS What model has the greatest potential in terms of people empowerment? • Energy cooperatives that locally engage citizens have the greatest empowerment potential • However such models do not have the biggest resource mobilisation potential (globally) • This is especially the case for developing countries, where a legal framework and policies for coop creation would need to exist • Foremost a strong middle class is needed to make such organisations successful > German Mittelstand vs. African middle class
  39. 39. MAIN CONCLUSIONS Which of the studied models has the greatest potential for resource mobilisation? • Online platforms have by far the largest potential, and especially when it comes to wider citizen participation • However models like energy coop’s also have a very large resource mobilisation potential but on local level • Enerfip collected 11 million EUR, while coop in Pfaff. about 7 million EUR!! • Sun Exchange possibly largest potential but model yet to be proven > BTC transactions enable cross border transactions • Platforms like Enerfip and Bettervest mainly limited to nationals of France and Germany
  40. 40. Thank you for your attention! Mak Đukan mak@starfishenergy.org www.starfishenergy.org

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