German start-up expands global solar power through crowd investment
Handelsblatt / Clean Energy Wire
German start-up Ecoligo has created a crowd investment structure to encourage the expansion of solar power in developing countries, writes business daily Handelsblatt. The two founders, Martin Baart and Markus Schwaniger, saw high interest rates on loans and high investment risks as hurdles for solar power expansion in countries like Ghana, Kenya, Costa Rica and Chile. Ecoligo’s solution for local companies who want to set up solar systems is to crowdfund the capital needed from investors and to construct and maintain the solar system. Instead of taking out an expensive loan for its installation, the local company gradually pays for the system and electricity, while investors receive an interest of around 5 to 6 percent. So far, Ecoligo has completed 13 projects with an investment value of 2.2 million euros, reports Handelsblatt. "We have a global responsibility to drive the energy transition forward, and we have to get away from this national thinking, it's a global problem,” co-founder Baart told the newspaper.
Germany’s green start-up scene is so lively that some have dubbed the country a "Green Energy Valley". Many start-ups are taking advantage of the ongoing energy transition – one estimate puts the number of green start-ups in the country at 6,000.