What is Energy Shares and what does it do for the renewable energy sector?
Energy Shares is a FINRA registered broker dealer. Energy Shares brings together renewable energy developers and retail investors through an equity crowdfunding platform.
Working together, we can raise the needed capital to accelerate and scale the renewable energy market in the U.S.
What is your role with Energy Shares?
I am the CMO and run all aspects of marketing for the company.
Energy Shares recently conducted a study on renewable energy. What takeaways were discovered?
Some of the key takeaways are that the market opportunity around renewable energy continues to grow. With investment coming from the federal government through the Inflation Reduction Act, along with the increasing demand by consumers for electricity, and the growth projections for new renewable energy utility scale projects over the next five years, this creates a need for scale and acceleration. Solar and wind projects are the most commercially viable solutions for utility scale projects today and can include a storage component. Overall, there is a push to launch more projects, given the time factors before they can be brought online, producing electricity.
Since our readership is primarily for the wind-energy sector, what makes clustering wind turbines more cost effective?
One of the key items with clustering is that now the entire deployment of wind turbines can act as a single producer of electricity with a single sub-station connecting into the grid and transmission lines. You can also layer in battery storage to further capture and store the newly generated electricity into a single location. So, clusters function more like a centralized plant vs. a distributed plant. Overall, you are reducing maintenance points and connection points while centralizing the power creation. And this allows for great scale in terms of output volume for a given wind farm.
How is Energy Shares going about bringing renewable energy developers and retail investors together?
The United States is in the process of moving from fossil fuels to renewable energy sources combined with an increase in demand for electricity by consumers and businesses. With more electronic devices, EV cars and batteries, and electrical appliances on the market, the need for electricity is only increasing. But where does all the production of this electricity come from today? It still comes from fossil fuel and natural gas production plants. So, all of this new green tech is still being powered by fossil fuels.
From an investment perspective, over $50 billion flowed into EV technology, battery technology and manufacturing, and chargers and charging infrastructure in 2022. What is still needed is investment in the actual production of electricity. All behind the scenes.
The talk of solar and wind farms is only growing, but you cannot just find some land and start installing solar panels or wind turbines. It can take several years to get the needed permits, land rights, and determine the optimal construction plan before breaking ground — this is known as “development.” And right now, solar- and wind-farm developers across the country need the financial resources to enable the future construction of these renewable energy electricity power production capabilities. This creates an investment need and opportunity. Energy Shares provides the platform to bring developers and retail investors together.
What are the advantages to having individual investors crowdfund projects?
The key here is to enable retail investors to have the opportunity to directly invest in development stage renewal energy projects here in the U.S. Retail investors up to now had limited ways that they could participate in this market. Consumers are seeing and reading all the media coverage talking about the renewable energy market and how the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) is promoting renewable energy. Energy Shares provides a platform for retail investors to learn about the industry and to decide if they want to participate in these projects. For renewable-energy developers, this is a new mechanism for them to be able to raise the needed capital for their projects.
How soon do you see the results of the study being applied to real-world projects?
We are hoping to see results applied into projects later this year. But as we know, projects in the development stage can take several years to be ready for construction and eventually generate electricity.
So, the key is to help launch development projects and get them into the queues so that in the coming years they can begin producing electricity.
Using the study’s findings as a guide, where do you see the renewable energy sector — particularly wind — in the next 10 years?
We see wind and solar as the most commercially viable renewable energy solutions that can scale and accelerate the production of electricity using renewable energy. So, as developers launch new projects today, over the next three, five, seven years, these projects will be built and come online producing electricity for the country.
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