11 Sep '12, 11am

How crowdfunding could make community power a reality

Back in April, President Obama signed the Jumpstart Our Business Startups Act (the JOBS Act), and one of the most heralded elements was so-called crowdfunding. The law sought to solve a major problem: It’s hard to finance small-scale business ventures. Wall Street only cares about multi-million-dollar plays, and securities regulations make small-dollar projects rather difficult (and costly) to jointly fund. The act could have big implications for community-based renewable energy projects. Right now, there are two kinds of community-based renewable energy projects, the charitable or the persistent. Solar Mosaic, for example, was founded and funded on the concept that many environmentally motivated people would help finance local solar projects with zero-percent-interest loans. They succeeded in building several projects, but the model is constrained by the limited universe ...

Full article: http://grist.org/climate-energy/crowdfunding-for-communit...

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