Many people have probably heard of the online lending platform called Kiva. You can sign up and help a person in need by loaning them enough money to start a small business which could help get them out of poverty. You won’t earn any interest on the loan because that is not the point. It is to help someone who might not get that support otherwise.
The Trillion Fund has developed a similar setup to help provide loans for renewable energy projects in the UK, but in this case you can earn interest on the money you loan. Its site lays out the steps for people who want to loan money for such endeavors:
- You work out how much you might want to either lend or invest – most projects and funds involve putting your capital at risk.
- You decide what you want to fund – whether that’s a peer-to-project loan for an existing wind farm or the purchase of a bond or shares that will finance the construction of a range of projects.
- You fill out your details and transfer money by bank transfer or debit card.
- Once the target is reached, we pass on the funds to the project owners, who then use that money to build more renewable energy projects, or for whatever purpose set out in the offer (see our guide for more details on investing in renewables).
- We will keep you up-to-date on your loans and investments, and credit you with interest payments and capital repayments as they come in from the projects
For example, if you invested in the E2 Energy wind power project, you could make about 7.5% interest for three years. The first phase of the project aims to raise 1.25 million pounds, but has an overall goal of generating five million. Currently, they have raised £140,050, with about 88 days left. The minimum investment is fifty pounds.
Five 50kw wind turbines will be purchased and installed in Yorkshire and Teeside. Endurance Wind Power, and EarthMill will own and operate them. It is expected they will generate enough electricity to power about 228 homes, but the electricity will be used for local businesses, including some farms. Both of these companies have previously worked to help farmers benefit from the installation of wind turbines and also to support rural economies.
The Trillion Fund platform is also supporting solar projects. The rate of return on a school solar installation is 6.7% if you prefer to support an educational facility. The minimum investment for this one is five pounds. If it seems confusing to mention this solar investment opportunity in an article about a wind project, it is only to illustrate that the Trillion Fund is about more than just the E2 Energy plan mentioned above.
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