Solar Investing Goes Mobile and Global

Wed, 2014-01-22 09:58

This summer I covered an innovative company out of California that is helping to bring more solar to more people through the first online investment platform for clean energy. Mosaic continues to make its mark on the solar industry and is about to take another giant step forward with its solar crowdfunding concept

$1 Million Grant

Mosaic was recently awarded a $1 million grant from Verizon’s Powerful Answers Program. The program supports the development of technologies to promote social benefits and solve problems related to education, health care, and sustainability. Mosaic won the top prize in the sustainability category and intends to use the award to develop a mobile app that will allow them to go global with their solar investment opportunities. Mosaic has plans to upgrade their platform to allow investors to fund solar projects in developing countries, using mobile devices to complete financial transactions. Mosaic’s co-founder and president, Billy Parish, acknowledges what a tremendous opportunity this is for investors and for people who would likely never have access to electricity through a traditional power grid. “Mosaic has the expertise and infrastructure to bring this opportunity to U.S. investors and finance clean energy for people who have never had electricity before, helping to alleviate some of the harshest poverty on the planet,” he says.

Plan of Action

The grant will boost Mosaic’s efforts to develop a mobile app that will allow for greater access to the investment platform. At the same time, Mosaic has already begun work to create opportunities for international project investments. The company is in talks with solar developers in developing nations, such as Africa, to provide financing for solar development through a new international loan product. Currency exchange rates, political stability, and regulatory issues are all being carefully considered.

An Emerging Market – Big Potential

solar in villageThe market for solar micro and mini grids is estimated to be $15 billion. These grids are basically small, independent power systems that are not reliant on national grid infrastructure. They are in demand in places where access to energy is essential to economic and social development but access to a centralized power grid is not possible. As crowdfunding becomes more mainstream (think Kickstarter), and as interest in socially responsible investing grows, Mosaic is positioned perfectly to connect the dots between energy needs, environmental needs, and funding.

While bringing clean, affordable electricity means a chance for better a quality of life in developing nations, opening up clean energy investing also benefits investors, the economy, and the planet. As Mosaic’s website says, “You shouldn't have to choose between making money and making a difference.”

Want to learn more about solar power before you consider an investment? Everblue’s solar training classes will get you up to speed on this clean energy technology.

photo credit: Recovering Vagabond via photopin cc

By Amy Malloy