Crowd investing for renewable energy has become quite common in the last few years with many available platforms for managing projects and communication with the investors, making these pro-jects also interesting for small municipalities, with the possibility to obtain a good return on investment – also because of the decreasing costs of technology.
In 2018, the municipality of Križevci started the first pilot project in Croatia for citizens crowd investing in renewable energies, aiming at the installation of a solar panel (PV) power plant on the rooftop of the municipality’s Development Center and Technology Park’s administrative building. This initiative was led by the Green Energy Cooperative ZEZ with its partners: the municipality of Križevci, Regional Energy Agency North, Greenpeace Croatia, Solvis and ACT Group. The financing of the power plant started with a fundraising campaign, which included 53 investors with an average investment of €500, rai-sing a total of €31,000 for a 30 kW PV plant. The campaign managed to collect the total amount of money needed in only 10 days. A follow up campaign was launched for a second PV plant (production capacity of 33,000 kWh/a.), which confirmed the interest of citizens in financing the project. The €23,000 target budget was raised for the second PV system in only 48 hours since the crowdfunding was started, with a final amount raised four times higher than the target.
The municipality of Križevci provided administrative and financial support in the preparation phase and grants an energy-saving fee for 10 years to investors; the Green Energy Cooperative has provided the solar equipment on lease to the city for 10 years; the Regional Energy Agency North developed a cost-effectiveness analysis and the general design documentation; Solvis, a PV module producer from Croatia, installed the PV plant on the rooftop.
Case study developed by the Covenant of Mayors – Europe Office.