3 Outstanding Sustainable Development Examples

three sustainable development examples
Learn how municipalities can speed up sustainable development by thinking outside the box. With clean energy projects sprouting around the globe, municipalities are looking for crowdlending platforms to engage their communities while achieving environmental outcomes. Here are three sustainable development examples that were launched by municipal councils and financed through crowdlending platforms, such as ECrowd!.

1. Viladamat Town Hall (Spain)

The Problem

The Town Council of Viladamat – a Girona-based village with a population of 440 – had an innovative project for the local town hall. They wanted to improve its energy efficiency with a self-consumption solar installation.

It didn’t take long for a feasibility study to take place by SUNO (a local engineering firm). SUNO determined that 12 solar photovoltaic (PV) modules would be required to fully power the town hall with a total cost of 15000 euros.

The Solution

First and foremost, the Town Council was committed to engage the residents of Viladamat in this clean energy project. If locals understood “the why”, they would be more motivated to invest and see the positive impact in their own land.

ECrowd! delivered the perfect solution: based in Barcelona, the crowdlending platform was designed specifically for positive impact crowdlending campaigns. The team loves investing in clean energy projects as they ensure future energy savings and show concise economic gains for the community.

For Viladamat, ECrowd!’s crowdlending campaign was strictly local, also known as a Km zero campaign. The smallest contribution a resident could make was 50 euros and at most 500 euros.

On March 6, 2017, ECrowd! launched its crowdlending campaign to finance the solar self-consumption project in Viladamat.

The Results

  • Instant funding. In a matter of days, the project had already secured the full capital needed, with the contributions of 22 local residents!
  • Energy efficiency. Putting in place the solar PV panels will enable the town hall to decrease its yearly consumption by 20%.
  • Budget savings. The town council will save up to 1000 euros per year.
  • Reduce carbon emissions. The community hall will decrease its CO2 emissions by 2.5 Tonnes per year.
  • Crowdlending milestone. Viladamat is the first municipality in Spain to use crowdlending to finance a self-consumption solar installation!

Ajuntament Viladamat portada (1)

2. Swindon Chapel Farm Solar (UK)

The Problem

The Swindon Borough Council has long been a sustainability leader in the United Kingdom. For instance, their target is to generate 200 MW of clean energy by 2030 to complete their goal of achieving a low carbon economy.

The Council had a municipal project that had been at a standstill for quite some time due to lack of capital. It revolved around reducing traffic noise.

In South West England, midway between Bristol and Reading, traffic noise from the A419 has been an unpleasant issue for a long time. The Council and residents have been trying to get a sound barrier built, but lack of funding has put the project at a standstill.

The Solution

Having experienced a successful crowdlending campaign before, the Council discussed with Abundance Investment the possibility of raising funds through the crowd once more.

This time, the idea of a solar farm sparked – the idea of the Swindon Chapel Farm Solar. If the sound barrier along the A419 was solar-powered, the Council could then sell the produced energy. In other words, this would make the barrier pay for itself over time.

This sustainable development example is very unique, because the Council thought of investing in a solar farm to finance a different municipal project – the sound barrier.

The first step the Council took was to issue solar bonds as a way to finance the project. These were then partly sold through the UK-based crowdlending platform Abundance Investment.

The Results

  • Immediate investing. The Swindon Chapel Farm Solar launched its crowdlending campaign in November 2016 and raised £2,455,000 in a matter of weeks to fund a 5MW ground-mounted solar farm, with the Council investing the remaining £3,000,000.
  • Energy generation. This sustainable development example generates enough electricity to supply the equivalent of 1,200 homes for a year.
  • Improve local economy. The Chapel Farm solar project will create a cleaner, greener Swindon while supporting local community initiatives and providing a stable income for the Council!

Photo Credit: Abundance Investment Blog

3. Wind Farm in Seigny (France)

The Problem

Since July 2013, the Municipal Council of Seigny was looking to contribute to national and local sustainable development goals.  Recognizing that clean energy projects are on the rise, the Council made a deliberate choice in favour of the wind farm project on its territory managed by ABO Wind.

ABO Wind ran a feasibility study and determined the surface area to establish the wind farm. The study established that 100 000 € was required to complete the wind Farm.

The Solution

If the wind farm is the land’s energy, the primary stakeholders are its local residents.

With this in mind, both the Municipal Council and ABO Wind chose to use Lendosphere – a crowdlending platform based in France.

But that’s not all they did.

From the very beginning, starting with the feasibility study to the actual implementation of the project, there was always an open dialogue between all the parties – the Council, ABO Wind and the residents. By working closely together, ABO was always available to give a better understanding of every sustainable development process.

The Results

  • Five wind turbines will be installed. Each will have a unit power of 2.2 MW. Their clean energy production is estimated at 30 million kWh, enough for the electricity consumption of 17 300 residents.
  • Reduce carbon emissions. The wind farm will avoid releasing 8 760 tonnes of CO2 per year!
  • High Annual Interest Rate. Local residents of Seigny who invested can expect a subsidised annual rate of 6%.
  • Many Investors. More than 283 people have contributed to this sustainable development through crowdlending. In total, 102 310 € was raised!


A Growing Movement

These are three remarkable sustainable development examples. Crowdlending has started a new era, one where citizens are motivated to contribute to local, sustainable projects, especially when their Municipal Councils lead the way.

Municipalities are accessing capital faster, speeding up sustainable development and, more than ever, engaging local residents to contribute as financial stakeholders.

Join us at ECrowd!

Do you work for your municipal government? Are you a member of the municipal Council? Have a sustainable project in mind? Contact us to book a consultation in order to set up a crowdlending campaign here on ECrowd!.

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