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Crowdfunding is a growing part of investment in solar powered products
Solar energy is no longer just a futuristic energy source or a nice-to-have. The world is currently in the middle of a major transition to cleaner power, and the rising number of products powered by solar energy is a testament to that.
Items like outdoor lighting and vehicles were some of the first to be transformed by solar, but now everyday products are also going through a clean energy revolution. Everyone knows these solutions are more eco-friendly, but it raises the question: why now? Here are a few pieces of the puzzle.
Investor interest and crowdfunding
Most companies are limited to some extent by whatever investors and shareholders approve of — and recently, investor opinions toward green energy have charged. For example, Harvard has announced intentions to stop investing in fossil fuels, and Yale plans to focus more on investment in more sustainable companies. These are just two examples of many.
Plus, conventional investment routes no longer have the dominance they once did — in recent times, crowdfunding has begun to play a larger role. Now that anyone can invest, companies (and the rest of the world) no longer need to await approval from the usual suspects. They can turn to “the crowd” instead.
For instance, GoSun is running a crowdfunding campaign on StartEngine for its solar-powered solutions that help with everyday tasks like purifying water, cooling, and cooking. It also offers a portable power bank that can run devices like laptops and lights from anywhere in the world.
So far, the emergent company has raised more than $1 million — that wouldn’t have happened a few years ago.
It’s not just investors that have a say. Demand determines supply, so the increased interest from consumers in eco-friendly items is another reason behind the rise of solar-powered products.
The growing understanding of the climate crisis combined with demographic shifts is a big factor in this. According to the 2021 Social Impact Investor Report, 60% of early-stage US entrepreneurs now state social impact as a priority. This is partly due to the influence of Millennials and Generation Z, who give social responsibility more weight in their purchasing decisions.
Still, this isn’t the only factor. Some consumers are drawn to solar power for the cost savings it brings, while others like the survivalist aspect — especially outdoor enthusiasts who appreciate products they can use during trips.
Solar-powered options offer an easier way to cook food by the beach or charge a phone while camping without relying on inconvenient, fuel-based solutions.
Another reason for the increasing use of solar products is that it’s a natural product of innovation; the products themselves are simply better than anything fossil fuels have given us so far. In the case of GoSun, the company claims its solar appliances are up to 20 times more energy-efficient than regular (non-solar) appliances.
The Super-Efficient Equipment and Appliance Deployment (SEAD) initiative, run by governments in collaboration with the private sector, has highlighted that four products (air conditioners, refrigerators, motors, and lighting) account for 40% of energy consumption. This highlights the importance of more innovative and efficient everyday products.
Is solar energy the future?
Until recently, many people have thought of solar energy as an alternative electricity source or something that can power a few specific gadgets. But it’s now clear that the potential of solar power extends way beyond that and has more mass appeal than any alternative.
The real question is: why wouldn’t a company want to consider using solar energy?
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