Transitioning to renewable energy sources wouldn’t be easy if not for fintech. Financial technologies facilitate using the power of sun and wind instead of fossil fuels in many ways.
Cryptocurrencies, crowdfunding, AI-optimised “green” loans, and more – innovative fintech solutions offer new ways for individuals and organisations to get involved in renewable energy and sustainability projects, so that the communities may reap all the benefits of the clean power produced.
Here are the top fintech projects supporting the development of the solar sector.
Australian fintech makes solar, battery and home improvements affordable with easy and flexible financing options. The company works on credit analysis and customer payables to make instant loan decisions and provide solar financing with ‘zero interest’ payment plans. Brighte marketplace connects users with partner providers of solar systems, flooring, roofing, pool heating system, guttering, etc. The payment plans have variable repayment terms and fixed fees (e.g. weekly account-keeping fee, establishment fee, late fee).
The US-based company, which started as a crowdfunding platform for investment in solar projects, now provides financing directly to homeowners wishing to set up rooftop solar at their houses. The loan policy is flexible, so Mosaic offers different loan structures that can be customised with different pricing options. Moreover, the company provides quite long repayment periods allowing to spread the cost of the purchase conveniently, with terms ranging from 10 to 25 years.
The fintech works with a wide network of solar installers who offer Mosaic’s loan products to solar energy customers. Last year, the company surpassed $9 billion in loans funded through its platform, as the need for clean energy and sustainable home improvements kept rapidly climbing. Besides, Mosaic also closed its 13th solar loan asset-backed securitisation in 2022 at $244 million, surpassing any other solar loan issuer in the space.
SunFi, the Nigerian fintech startup, offers an intermediary platform that connects clients (whether individuals or businesses) who want to install a solar energy solution with a network of independent installers and a curated set of energy solutions. Besides choosing the most suitable offerings depending on customers’ needs, SunFi provides flexible payment plans to make it more affordable.
The company has recently raised $2.3 million in seed funding to connect people and businesses who want solar energy access to payment plans that match their needs.
The main aim of the fresh startup is to solve the electricity issues prevailing in Nigeria. Currently, the country’s households and businesses have little or no access to affordable and reliable solar technology. Meanwhile, the general nationwide electricity grid is failing to serve the needs of Nigeria’s 200 million people who live in rural areas.
SolarCoin has a novel approach to cryptocurrency, creating 1 token for every Megawatt hour generated from solar technology. The blockchain rewards solar energy producers, by distributing its energy-referenced cryptocurrency SLR. In order to claim a Solar Proof of Work reward, solar plant owners must submit third-party verified energy generation certificates such as a Solar Renewable Energy Certificate (SREC) or equivalent country-specific documentation. The rewards can be claimed through SMA’s Sunny Portal.
SolarCoins are available on the Energy Web Foundation (EWF) blockchain specifically tailored to the performance and regulatory requirements of the energy sector.
The Energy Web Chain has numerous use cases such as renewable energy certificate markets, decentralised electric vehicle charging, and financial settlement of demand response and grid flexibility services. Thus, basically, anyone who produces solar energy, whether on their roof or in a solar park, can submit meter readings of their energy production and receive these digital coins as a reward.
Ecoligo has developed a crowd-funding platform that helps retail individual investors fund solar projects while receiving a higher return on their investment compared to regular banking products. All the selected projects pass technical and financial due diligence tests and need to fulfil certain social and ecological criteria.
Although the company is based in Germany, it targets emerging markets, like Chile, Uganda or Costa Rica, where it can make the most impact. Ecoligo manages solar projects from start to finish, covering all aspects from financing to technical implementation to system management. Operating in a so-called solar-as-a-service model for 7 years, Ecoligo raised €10 million to democratise the energy transition on a global scale in 2022. That allowed the company to expand its portfolio with the commercial and industrial customer segments and further develop its digital impact investing platform.