Great combination to promote sustainable energy: crowdfunding and education

Derek Markham has provided a good article on the CleanTechnica website about a team using the crowdfunding model to help bring about a revolution in clean energy investment and deployment. You should enjoy


This Project Taps Into Crowdfunding & Education To Finance 100% Renewable Energy

How can we get to 100% renewable and clean energy? That’s the $64,000 dollar question (or in this case, maybe it’s the $64 billion trillion question) that will need to be answered, at least in part, through the financing of large-scale effective cleantech solutions for energy and transportation. And that brings up yet another question, which is how can we get the funding for research and development, and then for deployment at a massive scale?

One answer might come through the efforts of the Race to 100% Renewable Energy team, which believes that by using the crowdfunding model, with a bit of a twist, it can help bring about a virtual revolution in clean energy investment and deployment. This isn’t your average crowdfunding model, in which a single campaign is used to fund and launch a new product, but is rather an attempt to build an entirely new kind of crowdfunding site that focuses exclusively on projects that will speed up the adoption of clean technologies.

By funding projects such as renewable energy, electric car sharing, energy efficient housing, afforestation, public transit, sustainable agriculture and water initiatives, education, and other economy-boosting activities, the team aims to reduce the economic burdens of certain aspects of our modern industrial culture, such as air pollution and other externalities.

The Race to 100% Renewable Energy project plans to tap into the huge ($6 trillion) global education market by raising funding from the delivery of “rapid teaching methods” for students of all ages, which will then go toward financing R&D and deployment of renewable energy and cleantech solutions.

“Our plan is to invest in both energy and education. Energy and education are the two most essential components of the modern economy. They’re both economic multipliers, so making investments to reduce the costs of energy, reduce pollution, and improve educational outcomes will help reduce poverty, and increase opportunities and economic growth.”

The team, which has been working on this concept for the last few years, is said to have done “a tremendous amount of research and creative planning” but are in need of funding to fully move it forward. And the next step in building this cleantech crowdfunding site is … wait for it … raising money through crowdfunding.

A Fundrazr campaign has been set up to help raise the money to cover the initial expenses of the project, including the legal and technical side of things, which will help the team apply for a $100 million 100andChange grant from the MacArthur Foundation.

The main crowdfunding campaign, which has as one of its goals to eventually have a central location where the team, which is currently spread across a dozen countries, can fully flesh out its own crowdfunding site and pursue additional business partnerships to build a compelling model for cleantech finance, is now live on Indiegogo.

The team has also set up a number of ‘secret perks’ for CleanTechnica readers, so if you’re interested in backing this project, take advantage of discounted rewards through the links below (secret perks will be listed at the top of the right sidebar on the campaign page):

  • $15 level reward (comparable to standard $20 reward)
  • $30 level reward
  • $45 level reward
  • $90 level reward
  • $225 level reward

Again, for clarity’s sake, the Fundrazr campaign is intended to help cover immediate expenses in order to apply for the MacArthur Foundation grant, and the Indiegogo campaign is the bigger one with the goal of building out the entire Race to 100% Renewable Energy platform.

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