CrowdFundRES European Policy Workshop
By Christophe Arnaud, Policy Advisor, SolarPower Europe
A workshop was organized in Brussels on the 16th February 2017. The room was full, gathering around 50 people from different backgrounds: policy makers, RES representatives, and crowdfunding stakeholders.
The workshop was the occasion of discussing major deliverables of the CrowdFundRES project, validating pre-identified policy recommendations and listening to the participants' feedback for improving them. It was also the opportunity to present and discuss the document serving as a guidance for project developers to assess the relevance and opportunity of financing through crowdfunding
The morning session started with a presentation of important learnings from the project, such as the review of crowdfunding regulation & renewables regulatory framework, and the case studies of RES projects financed through crowdfunding.
The following session was organized as a panel discussion introduced by a presentation from the European Commission on the "Clean Energy for all Europeans" Package published in November 2016. Then the work done by the CrowdFundRES consortium on policy recommendations was presented by Oliver Gajda, European Crowdfunding Network's executive director. He notably stressed the need for the EU to ensure a stable regulatory framework for RES, setting measures for small projects ensuring citizens' ability to participate in the energy transition, as well as specific advantages for crowdfunded RES projects. On the crowdfunding side, he emphasized the need for a legal definition for crowdfunding models and market actors, and for facilitating cross-border crowdfunding abilities, and overall convergence and coherence of the crowdfunding regulatory framework at national level.
This introduction launched a fruitful discussion between the panellists and the participants, confronting the European vision described by Mr Beltramello (DG FISMA) and his colleagues from DG ENER to specificities at national level, notably emphasized by Mr Bussalb (BaFIN) and Ms Aschenbeck (Osborn Clarke). The promises of crowdfunding as an innovative tool to empower citizens were shared. However, administrative and regulatory barriers were pointed out as impeding the development of crowdfunding. The need for combining the development of private investment through crowdfunding with ambitious policies for the development of renewables was also brought forward.
After a networking lunch, the participants were split into small working groups moderated by the members of the consortium. The aim was to exchange more interactively on the policy recommendations and then on the guidelines for project developers, investors, and crowdfunding platforms.
The outcome of the discussions will be reported and used for finalising the policy recommendations and the guidelines' documents.
For more information, please visit the CrowdFundRES dedicated page: http://www.crowdfundres.eu/past-events/european-policy-workshop-renewable-energies-crowdfunding-opportunities-challenges-national-regulations-financial-return-models/