Access to electricity is something that most of us take for granted, we use electricity more or less 24/7 and when the power fails it feels like the world stops for a while – until it’s back again!

Imagine not being able to turn the lights on, charge your phone at home, cook food or have a hot shower. Electricity is fundamental in our daily life and the way our society functions. It’s the foundation for modern living – in the way we live, work, commute and communicate.

Unfortunately, this is not the reality for everyone. Around 1.2 billion people still lack access to electricity. Most of them, 95% live in sub-Saharan Africa or developing Asia. And 2.7 billion people rely on solid fuels for cooking and heating. This usage leads to severe indoor and outdoor air pollution. According to the World Health Organization, 4.3 million people each year die prematurely from illness attributable to the household air pollution caused by inefficient use of solid fuels for cooking.

Local small scale solar installations offer the potential to replace kerosene and other dirty fuels in areas that have little prospect of gaining access to other energy sources. Solar energy is a cheaper, healthier and readily available solution. But the upfront costs are too high for the local community and the need of investments for change is tremendous.

Taken by the striking statistic of “energy poverty”, TRINE, a clean-tech start-up and Nordic Climate Solver honoree democratizes the finance of solar energy and creates a new for-profit business model. Using a unique crowdinvesting platform, TRINE finances solar energy projects which provide remote communities with electricity. The crowdinvesting platform makes it easy for people to contribute to positive social and environmental impact, while also earning a return on investment. By showing how easy it is to do good – and at the same time earning money on the investment – more people will be able to do good. The foundation of TRINE’s approach is its digital platform that allows the company to target a new set of investors who tend to be younger and motivated by positive social impact. With the return on investment being a bonus, but not „must have“. Investment amounts typically range from 500 Euro to up to 10,000. In time, as the approach matures, TRINE will also approach more traditional investors.

As part of their value proposition, TRINE possesses a rigorous due diligence process and carefully vets potential projects to offer sound investment opportunities for their customers. TRINE’s first pilot project involved a mini-grid installation in Sidonge, Kenya. Mini-grids are modular solutions that make installation easier and more cost effective. To date, TRINE has signed contracts for projects in Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania. With a large pipeline of solar entrepreneurs in emerging markets teed up for future consideration.

„Electricity changes everything!“. Start investing in solar energy today!