Ocean Energy Industry Turns to Crowdfunding

Crowdfunding is everywhere today, reaching out to individuals in our field to fund documentaries on climate change, solar schools in England, solar systems in the US, and a wind turbine in the Netherlands. Now the ocean energy industry has launched its own platform, Clean Reach. 

Designed to address a lack of early-stage funding for this high potential energy industry, it wants to help entrepreneurial start-ups, coastal communities and even mature ocean energy developers to get funding and other resources that take it from a good idea to commercial technology. 

"Ocean energy visionaries across the globe have pioneering ideas that, if given the opportunity to reach fruition, can be the difference makers in providing clean, renewable energy to the world population," says Stephanie Thornton, co-founder of Clean Reach. "Creating commercially viable ocean energy technology is
paramount, but investors aren’t giving renewable energy the attention it deserves."

Just 0.1% of the ocean’s energy could provide energy for 15 billion people, according to Michael Bernitsas, Professor of Naval Architecture at University of Michigan. Yet, 3% of venture capital supports development of the industry. 

Some projects they are currently raising money for:

  • The International Network on Offshore Renewable Energy
     fosters on-going research and collaboration. Funding goal: $6,000 
  • An entrepreneur that’s developing a wave energy turbine (see photo below) that is more efficient, produces more power at lower cost than those available today. Funding goal: $3,500

 Wave Turbine

Besides helping the ocean
energy industry
overcome key barriers, Clean Reach hopes to improve
collaboration among project developers and strengthen
public awareness of the industry’s tremendous potential.

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