On the 24th May 2016, in Brussels, we hosted the 2nd ECN CrowdCamp on crowdfunding for renewable energy, clean-tech and energy efficiency.
The conference, which also hosted ECN General Assembly, CrowdfundRES workshops and Citizenergy Stakeholders Forum, gathered more than 200 stakeholders from the crowdfunding and green energy sectors. The topic – financing green energies and energy-efficient projects – was an hot one for EU stakeholders. The European Union, in fact, has set itself aggressive goals in terms of reducing greenhouse gas emissions and transitioning to renewable energies such as generated by wind turbines, solar panels and biomass. By 2030, the EU wants to be the worldwide leader in renewable energies with 27% of the energy consumed by EU citizens coming from renewable energy sources.
The 2nd ECN CrowdCamp discussed with platforms, RES developers and policymakers if and how crowdfunding can help financing the EU’s energy transition to cleaner sources of energy. Throughout the panels and keynotes, it became clear that crowdfunding is helping democratizing investments into the renewable energy sector, while decreasing the Not-In-My-Backyard logic, by increasing the sense of ownership of local communities.
Last but not least, Mr. Claude Turmes, a member of the European Parliament and one of the leading figures of the EU Green Party, who attended CrowdCamp, illustrated the paradoxical situation where cost of capital is much lower in those countries in the EU where renewable energy sources are scarcer – i.e. Northern EU Countries – than in those where these resources are more abundant – i.e. Southern Europe -. He therefore challenged our industry: will crowdfunding contribute to reduce this gap and to increse number of power plants in sunny Greece?