Photo: Villa Mediterranee, Marseille

Crowdfunding and Solar projects: Opportunities and Challenges

By Christophe Arnaud, Policy Advisor

On 7 December 2016, CrowdFundRES together with Enerplan organized a conference on crowdfunding for solar project development in France.

The event was held in the Villa Mediterranee Marseille, and gathered more than one hundred participants. The conference was raising expectations in the context of the recently announced tenders organized by the French energy regulatory authority. Crowdfunding is becoming of interest for project developers in France, as the use of crowdfunding would lead to a bonus for the development of solar projects.

Alexandre Raguet CEO of the French crowdfunding platform Lumo, and Richard Loyen, delegate general of Enerplan, the French Union of the professionals of solar energy, introduced the conference by giving their vision of the energy and crowdfunding developing context, and the upcoming challenges and opportunities in that perspective.

SolarPower Europe presented the European view, and notably the upcoming negotiations on the revision of the European regulatory framework for energy, which will have an important impact on the solar power sector. Then the findings of the European CRrowdFundRES project were presented to the participants, explaining the particularities of that financing source, as well as emphasizing how best practices can be learned from other European countries.

After that, Osborne Clarke's presentation on the legal details of the French tenders raised many questions, as there are still a certain number of uncertainties in the way solar projects should apply.

The morning session was punctuated by the presentation of experiences of projects developed in different French regions, showing how successfully local projects of different scales managed to develop.

In the afternoon, representatives of crowdfunding platforms, solar projects developers, and financing entities shared their experience of past projects, and the way they see the upcoming situation.

The conference ended with a workshop session dedicated to the CrowdFundRES draft guidelines for project developers interested in crowdfunding. Participants gave their opinion on the paper and valuable input on how to make it evolve.

In the frame of the CrowdFundRES project, similar workshops are planned in several European countries, which will be crucial to spread the results of the project and gather direct feedback.

Slides presented will soon be made available on the page dedicated to the event: