Retail financial innovation is catching up with technological innovation and government energy policies that are making solar photovoltaic (PV) power systems affordable for a much broader range of the US population. Solar Mosaic made a big splash earlier this month when it announced that the first set of three rooftop solar photovoltaic (PV) projects offered up on its crowd funding platform sold out in less than 24 hours.
The Oakland, California–based start-up is wasting no time in seeking to build on the success of the public launch of its innovative online solar energy investment marketplace. Management on January 29 announced that Mosaic is joining with 16 solar industry market leaders (including Standard & Poors, DuPont, TruSolar and others) in order to “make the sun bankable.” Together, the partners intend “to standardize risk assessment and develop a score – similar to a credit rating – for each solar project” Solar Mosaic offers up on its crowd funding platform.
Credit Ratings for Rooftop Solar PV Projects
Qualified individual investors ponied up more than $300,000 of capital in lots ranging from $25 to $30,000 in under 24 hours to fund Mosaic’s first three rooftop solar PV projects. Those investments are expected to generate annual returns of 4.5%, well in excess of the 1.9% yield of comparable 10-year US Treasury notes.
Overall, more than 700 investors have committed more than $1.1 million of capital to finance 12 rooftop solar PV systems via Mosaic’s solar crowdfunding platform. Management intends to add to that tally in short order by opening up additional rooftop solar energy projects directly to the investing public via its online marketplace.
“Mosaic provides a unique way for small investors to reap the same returns that major investors in solar have been enjoying for years while providing the industry with an additional influx of capital,” commented Marco Krapels, a 20-year banking industry veteran and Rabobank executive vice president who is joining Mosaic’s Board of Directors. “I look forward to supporting the disciplined development of the Mosaic platform to let all Americans participate in the clean energy economy.”
A new climate change forecast released January 12 projects that global warming will be much worse than had been anticipated just four years ago, with average temperatures surging as much as 9°F higher over the course of the 21st century, according to a report from sister site Red, Green & Blue.
Spurring the transition from fossil fuels towards energy infrastructure based on renewable energy sources is one of the best investments we can make when it comes to mitigating the effects of climate change and conserving ecosystems services, as well boosting employment and economic growth. Rising global temperature and the effects of increasingly frequent and more intense extreme weather events are taking their toll in the US and around the world.
As new Mosaic board member Marco Krapels states in an accompanying video interview, “We’re funding the inevitable. We know this country can be powered by wind, water, and solar.”
I've been reporting and writing on a wide range of topics at the nexus of economics, technology, ecology/environment and society for some five years now. Whether in Asia-Pacific, Europe, the Americas, Africa or the Middle East, issues related to these broad topical areas pose tremendous opportunities, as well as challenges, and define the quality of our lives, as well as our relationship to the natural environment.