John Robb: Local Energy, Local Investments

05 Energy

A Smart Way to Finance Local Energy Abundance

By John Robb

This is a picture of all of the electricity a family will need for the next twenty years:

Click on Image to Enlarge
Click on Image to Enlarge

Doesn’t seem like much, does it?

It gets even better.

If every family in a community had an installation like this, the community would be close to never experiencing a blackout again.

On top of that, the community would be exporting energy.  Wealth would be flowing into the community and not out of it.

Amazing, isn’t it.

So, why doesn’t everyone have an installation like this?

Until recently, even with government subsidies, it didn’t make economic or technological sense except in extreme situations.

That’s changed.  DIY solar energy is now ready for prime time (I’m currently working on a Solar Energy report that blows the lid off of this — stay tuned).

Despite that, many people still don’t have the upfront money needed to make it happen.

Here’s an innovative way to solve that problem:  Community Financing.

Community Micro-Financing for Solar Projects

Here’s an idea for a very simple community financing system from a company called Mosaic.

Currently, they make it easy for people to find, invest, and earn interest on high quality solar projects.

Mosaic Energy

The same mechanism could work as a way to finance solar in a community.

How?  By using the system like this to connect local DIY solar installations with individuals that are looking for tangible investments in their communities — everyone with a retirement account should be looking for this.  Not only is the outlook for global markets terrible, the current returns are abysmally low.

This is a win-win.

The local investors get returns 4% (!) higher than they get from treasuries and they are actually investing in something tangible in their own back yard.

The people doing the installation get electricity at a low (much less than they are currently paying) fixed rate and eventual ownership of the system.

Worth thinking hard about.

Resiliently Yours,
JOHN ROBB