By Climate Scorecard Spain Country Manager Wendy Pareles
Image Source: https://www.buildup.eu/en/news/green-investment-how-energy-crowdfunding-works
Through the Interreg Europe initiative, whose objective is to make renewable energies accessible to vulnerable persons, the Powerty Project’s framework presents a scheme that reflects Spain’s renewable energy best practices.
The municipality Viladamat of 440 inhabitants in the province of Girona, is the first in Spain to successfully launch a crowd-lending campaign to finance a photovoltaic installation for self-consumption. With the complexities and difficulties that traditional financing faced, the crowd-lending alternative allowed people to contribute small amounts of money in exchange for a financial return (collected in a loan contract). The project was organized with ECrowd, who specialize in the collective financing of projects with positive impact. The company managed to raise €105,000 for the implementation of the 32 photovoltaic devices in a public building through citizen’s investments; this will be recovered with a nominal interest of 0.95% annually for five years.
Robert Sabater, mayor of Viladamat, had been looking for a way to promote and implement renewables in municipal buildings. The installation of this alternative energy consisted of 12 solar photovoltaic modules—a sufficient amount for the building’s self-consumption without pouring energy into the grid. The City Council could save up to €1,000 per year on the electricity bill and reduce its CO2 emissions by 14,700 kg annually. Additionally, within the project, 38,880 kWh per year have been generated. This is equivalent to the consumption of 17 homes and 166 citizens participated in the crowd-lending.
This good practice is transferable to other regions due to the fact that this reference of how a City Hall finances a solar installation through crowd-lending already exists and citizens are gaining more knowledge and participating more in projects through crowd-lending.