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Crowdfunding may bring solar energy to non-profits

Non-profits have trouble taking advantage of solar programs

Solar Energy - CrowdfundingConsumers and businesses have been able to take advantage of a growing number of solar energy programs recently. These programs are designed to mitigate the costs associated with the purchase and installation of photovoltaic systems, thereby making them easier to acquire. Non-profit organizations, however, do not typically have access to these programs. Non-profits cannot take advantage of most solar leasing initiatives, power purchase agreements, or financing programs that make the adoption of solar power easier. The solution to this issue may be somewhat straightforward and may take the form of crowdfunding.

Crowdfunding can mitigate the costs associated with solar adoption

Crowdfunding has become a popular concept in the technology and entertainment realms. The idea is quiet simple: Consumers and businesses come together to provide funds for a project they are interested in. Instead of a project being forced to seek out funding from investment firms, the project focuses on the general public to meet its financial needs. This concept has been gaining ground in the renewable energy space recently as more organizations become aware of how much support the public is willing to give to innovative energy projects.

Company taps into the power of the crowd to make solar energy more accessible

CollectiveSun is aiming to make solar energy more accessible to non-profit groups by tapping into the power of crowdfunding. The company works exclusively with non-profit groups that are interested in solar power and claims that these organizations can take advantage of significantly reduced energy costs by working with it. CollectiveSun also notes that it can obtain as much as 5% return on investment through its initiatives concerning non-profit groups.

TERI successfully funds projects through CollectiveSun

CollectiveSun’s first project was successfully funded on December 11, 2013, and was held on behalf of TERI, a non-profit energy policy research organization. TERI intends to use the funds for its solar energy projects, which are meant to bring reliable power to children and adults with special needs. TERI has already approached CollectiveSun for assistance with another of its projects.

Source : http://www.hydrogenfuelnews.com/crowdfunding-may-bring-solar-energy-non-profits/8515774/

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Abundance launches crowdfunded renewable energy project in Kent

Renewable energy crowdfunding platform Abundance Generation has opened a new solar project in Kent for funding, offering a “win win” for investors.

The development requires up to £730,000 for the installation of an initial two 249 kilowatt (kW) sites, and £1.13m to build a possible third third on the Isle of Wight.

Abundance offers debentures – bonds or debts lent to wind farms or the solar projects that are then secured on a share of the revenue that each project generates over its lifetime. People can invest as little as £5. 

The firm’s previous six projects have collectively raised over £3m for renewable energy projects. Construction begins this month for the first two new sites.

Bruce Davis, co-founder and joint managing director of Abundance, said the investment is perfect for people “who are watching their savings shrink and their investments go up and down like yo-yos.

He added, “By having a direct link to [the retail price index] each year plus interest on top, this latest project means investors will beat inflation (before tax), while knowing their money is being put to productive use – in Britain’s real economy, in the production of renewable energy.

“This is a big ‘win win’ for our investors and the smaller renewable energy developers they are investing in, and the kind of healthier financial service – cutting out the City’s unnecessary and expensive middlemen – that this country needs much more of if we are all to benefit from the economic recovery and a sustainable future.”

The new solar sites are projects by Dublin-based firm BNRG Renewables. It is the second BNRG project to be offered through Abundance. The first – BNRG Hoo Solar, also in Kent – raised its full target of £385,000 March 2013.

In September, Hoo Solar paid its first cash return to investors at 8.4% over the amount it was projected to.

In November, Abundance announced it had reached its £500,000 target to fund the installation of solar panels on 20 community buildings in Nottingham in just under a month.

Source : http://blueandgreentomorrow.com/2013/12/12/abundance-launches-crowdfunded-renewable-energy-project-in-kent/

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Minhocão ganha jardim vertical pioneiro no Brasil

Às margens do Elevado Costa e Silva, em São Paulo, edifício residencial ganha o primeiro jardim vertical em “empena cega” do Brasil

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Minhocão ganha jardim vertical pioneiro no país: formada por quase cinco mil mudas, parede verde de 220 m² foi montada em prédio residencial às margens do Minhocão

Redução da poluição, isolamento acústico e diminuição da temperatura são apenas alguns dos benefícios que os jardins verticais podem trazer às áreas urbanas e que serão cada vez mais percebidos pelos moradores da região do Minhocão.

Neste mês de dezembro, o Elevado Costa e Silva, umas das áreas mais cinzas e barulhentas da capital paulista, ganhou o primeiro jardim vertical do Brasil construído em uma “empena cega” – nome dado àqueles paredões dos prédios que não possuem janelas, onde eram colocados anúncios publicitários, antes da Lei Cidade Limpa ser aprovada na cidade de São Paulo, em 2007.

Formada por quase cinco mil mudas, de 19 diferentes espécies – o que garante um belo colorido ao mosaico -, a parede verde de 220 m² foi montada, em 15 dias, em um prédio residencial localizado às margens do Minhocão, no largo Padre Péricles, próximo à avenida Francisco Matarazzo.

O projeto foi idealizado pela Escola São Paulo e pelo Movimento 90º – iniciativa que reúne paisagistas, arquitetos, administradores, advogados, engenheiros e empresários que defendem a instalação de jardins verticais nos centros urbanos em prol de cidades com mais verde.

DÁ PARA FAZER MUITO MAIS… Criador do projeto, o paisagista Guil Blanche mapeou outras edificações no centro expandido de São Paulo onde os jardins verticais poderiam ser instalados e concluiu que existem cerca de 500 “empenas cegas” aptas a receber as paredes verdes. Apenas na região do Minhocão, são 140 paredões que podem ser usados pela iniciativa.

O maior empecilho ainda é o custo do projeto. Com necessidade de sistema automático de irrigação e fertilização para manter as plantas vivas, os jardins custam a partir de R$ 800 por m² de empena. Mas Guil Blanche dá a dica: o valor não precisa ser pago pelos moradores dos prédios. É possível arrecadar dinheiro em sites de crowdfunding na internet ou mesmo por meio de patrocínio, como aconteceu no projeto-piloto feito no Minhocão.

http://planetasustentavel.abril.com.br/noticia/cidade/minhocao-ganha-jardim-vertical-pioneiro-brasil-cidades-verdes-763572.shtml