Innovation in Sustainability & Renewables
Sustainability and renewable energy have been at the centre of innovation over these past few years. We’ve seen companies like Solar City pioneer the cost reductions for photo voltaic technology. Tesla have beaten records with their electric cars, which in turn has catalysed the electric car industry and the adoption of electric vehicles. The rise of ‘AgriTech’ with vertical gardens for increased yield, leveraging IoT technology for precise data measurements and AI for predictive analyses. Many startups are reducing carbon footprints whilst simultaneously creating financial returns.
One interesting fact to note is that people have also been undertaking personal projects to attempt to lower their environmental impact, which in the long term saves them money. This created an interesting opportunity, one which Bettervest decided to take advantage of by creating a company for green crowdinvesting.
Bettervest is the world’s first green crowdinvesting platform, which is solely for energy efficiency projects. Projects range from a simple solar panel installation for a home in Germany, to a solar mini-grid in Madagascar or a biomass plant in Cuba. Some of the projects are done personally at home, such as the first example. Whereas others are organised by companies, NGOs or municipalities. The projects range in duration from 1 – 10 years. The returns for these investments are attractive given the social aspect. Interest on investments average at about 5 – 10%. In addition, you get to see how many tons of carbon the project will save. As well as providing energy for a rural community or whichever type of positive impact the project will have.
As stated on their website – “Bettervest only finances projects that are ecologically sound and able to achieve high savings in both costs and energy. Each individual project is verified by certified energy consultants who calculate and forecast the savings. Our core staff members have expert knowledge pertaining to the energy industry and climate science.”. Bettervest takes a 10% fee of the total investment, plus a 1% annual handling fee for its services.
There has been a general increase in interest about the wellbeing of the environment. There’s been widespread coverage and interest of events such as the amazon fires on both the news and on social media. Governments have been banning plastic bags and putting caps on emmisions in many countries. Companies have also been attempting to make positive changes like using renewable energy or reducing waste. However, sometimes businesses may be using these green initiatives as a facade for marketing purposes, it’s hard to tell, but at least they make a positive difference.
Bettervest seems to be conducting their green initiatives with their best interest. Bettervest appears to offer a win-win situation with its green crowdinvesting platform. The general population gets the ability to fund projects (with as little as €50) that will decrease our carbon footprint, save energy, along with having a positive impact on the local community, plus getting a financial return. However, it is important to remember that like any other investment opportunity, capital is at risk.