Emerging Markets Law

Crowdfunding for Solar Energy

This piece on Fool.com talks about the potential for crowdfunding to provide some of the missing parts for financing residential solar deals.

I empathize with those who wish that residential solar could be easier and more affordable but I'm skeptical that it will become a reality anytime soon.  There are still a host of regulatory (think zoning and tax credits) and technical (think on-site service calls when something goes wrong) hurdles to be overcome.

The commercial market, however, is another story.  The market for construction and permanent financing for commercial solar projects is still undeveloped.  These projects have more robust tax credits (often 35% of the construction cost) and are large enough to have economies of scale when it comes to regulatory and technical hurdles.  Nevertheless, commercial banks rarely participate in financing these deals and private equity is hard to find.

A model that would allow individual investors to participate in commercial-scale solar projects could have some potential.

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