Good Energy Comes With Good Money
More than 1 billion people worldwide do not have access to energy. Most of them are in Africa. But something beautiful is developing. In the coming decades, more and more of these people will have access to energy. And it can be done in a way that will not damage our planet.
While the whole Western society still is on a toxic mix of gas and oil, more and more people in Africa are gaining access to clean energy. Solar energy is now 80% cheaper than 5 years ago. This means that even in a 'developed' country like Australia it sometimes even is cheaper than traditional energy sources.
Off-Grid, Very Logical
In African countries, where there is practically no energy grid, small-scaled solar energy is simply the most logical outcome. Not only is solar energy becoming cheaper, but more and more is possible. A few years ago you could use a simple solar panel and battery just to get a bit of light, but now it is even possible to run a small fridge at the same peak power. Suddenly it is possible for families to keep their medicines fresh and farmers do not have to throw away their evening milk.
Clean Energy is Orange
Our crowdfunding portfolio contains more and more companies that offer clean energy solutions. SolarNow supplies solar water pumps to farmers in Uganda for irrigation of the land. And in Kenya for example we have Simgas, a company that installs systems that allow people to cook on biogas (cow dung) instead of wood. With fertile manure as a result. And our newest investee, SolarWorks, offers solar home systems to households in Mozambique.
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What these companies have in common is that they are set up by Dutchies. Our country has always had an internationally-oriented view and we can be proud of the fact that the Netherlands play an important role in the clean energy movement in Africa. Lendahand itself also plays an increasingly important role in this: recently the Energy 4 Impact report showed that Lendahand is one of the 3 largest crowd investors for clean energy in Africa.
From Diesel Generator to Solar Cell
A whole continent on clean energy. That would be quite something! And it only gets better. Recently Tobias and I went to this conference, organized by GOGLA (Global Off-Grid Lighting Association). In addition to the development of increasingly efficient devices that work on solar power, we clearly saw the trend that systems are gaining more and more capacity. As a result, larger energy consumers can switch from diesel generators to solar energy. Think of a hospital or supermarket that puts solar panels on the roof and funds the purchase costs from the savings or additional productivity they generate.
Interesting Return and Social Impact
Especially from an investment point of view, the African trend in the use of clean energy is interesting. By investing in companies that are active in this, we can give them the opportunity to reach even more households and companies. There is momentum in the market and the industry is slowly starting to mature. At Lendahand you can lend from 50 euros onwards to such companies against an attractive interest rate.
And don't forget: investing in clean energy in Africa is much more than just a nice investment opportunity; it offers people the chance of a better life. How? In a next blog I will discuss the social impact that a number of the above companies create.
I like to use the skills I obtained from my experience in the investment banking industry in London to help provide children in developing countries a better future. A sustainable investment strategy improves the future of others as well as your own.
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