ImpactAlpha, October 15 – Cape Town-based Sun Exchange has a unique model for accelerating solar energy adoption: it identifies buildings and other locations ripe for solar power generation, crowdsources capital to pay for solar panel installations, then facilitates repayment to those investors by the communities and organizations using the energy generated… through its own cryptocurrency. The cryptocurrency element is meant to make cross-border investments easier.
Sun Exchange has projects in the works for schools, nature reserves, and waste recycling plants across South Africa. It is also partnering with Powerhive to develop solar microgrids in rural Kenya, and with the U.N. Development Programme on an installation for a university in Moldova, a country that imports almost 75% of its energy.
“This alternative finance mechanism will help cities, businesses and potentially private homes to meet their basic needs, knocking off several Global Goals targets at once,” UNDP’s Dumitru Vasilescu said.
Sun Exchange says it has enrolled 14,000 funders from 90 countries on its platform. The startup has secured $500,000 from Alphabit, a hedge fund focusing on blockchain and cryptocurrencies.