Shine the light on crowdfunding

The future of renewable energy and reducing carbon emissions has received a boost with crowdsourcing schemes.

Solar panels have long been an option for home investment. Pay a lump sum and reap the benefits of free clean energy and a tax free pay back from the Government feed-in tariff which out-performs traditional savings – a great investment, but only for those with the spare cash.

The Government’s aim with the feed-in tariff is to encourage so many people to make the shift to low carbon energy that it becomes the norm and encouragement is no longer needed.

But another way to invest in solar energy is by crowdfunding larger projects. Crowdfunding is when money is raised for a project by voluntary contributions from many people. Projects such as Big60Million are raising funds for solar farms by encouraging the public to invest the price of each bond, being just £60.

Dedicated websites showcase projects to donate to, including Crowdfunder, CrowdCube and Crowdpatch, mostly for charitable deeds and environmental projects. However, the first ever crowdfunded project was thought to be for a rock band’s tour – so anything goes.

There are different types of crowdfunding projects. Some mean investors receive their donations back with interest, whereas others won’t see their money again. But they can feel satisfied that they’ve put money towards helping a project of their choice.