Boosting the use of renewable energy has long been an ambition in Europe, but some efforts have powered down amid an ever-changing political landscape and dwindling finances. Now crowdfunding is pulling in a new generation of green investors
“I have always been interested in the environment. As a child, I thought ‘what if the world runs out of petrol? Petrol won’t be there forever.’” Librarian Erwin van Delden, 56, from Haarlem in The Netherlands, wanted to put his money where his heart is, in green energy.
He came across the Oneplanetcrowd platform, which has funded almost 160 projects since 2013, raising a total of 17.5 million euros. They range from solar panels for social housing to wood heating stations, which provide a sustainable alternative to gas.
“My main interests are in the sharing economy, recycling/upcycling and renewable energy,” explained van Delden, a husband and father who works in Amsterdam. He has invested in several projects through the platform, including WakaWaka (‘shine bright’ in Swahili), a social enterprise providing solar-powered products, including lights and battery chargers, to people lacking access to electricity.
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Photo credits: Wakawaka
This project has received funding from the European Union's Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 646511