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Cities Unite To Start Solar Revolution Through Crowdfunding

 A whole series of new solar projects in Moldova, Georgia, Serbia and Tajikistan are going to be financed through crowdfunding campaigns. Citizens from these countries, but also from all round the world will have the opportunity to participate in solarization of this region!

We will start with the youngest in Serbia. The future belongs to them and must be renewable so the city of Kragujevac will crowdfund for a PV installation on the roof of a kindergarten. Energy independence of the building will be done with the assistance of the first Serbian energy cooperative from the city of Šabac, under the Solar Mayors' Club Initiative.

Education of children is an extra benefit of this kind of projects, and another one is that renewable energy doesn't pollute the air and is much better for our health. Since cities manage not only kindergartens and schools, but also health institutions, in Moldova we are going larger and plan to crowdfund a solar power plant on a hospital worth USD 1 million. It is going to be done through the Sun Exchange, a marketplace that finances solar power with national currency or in cryptocurrency like Solar Coin introduced by blockchain start-up ElectriCChain.

Another project in Tajikistan will go further and connect food with solar energy. Dushanbe Solar City crowdfunding campaign that just started and already collected 79% of end goal – Dushanbe Solar city, Space Hive. It will use the power of crowdfunding platform Spacehive and aims to reach an initial goal of USD 12,000 to procure and install a 4,3 kW array of solar panels on the roof of the first electric food truck in Dushanbe city. This is the first time Spacehive plans to work outside of the UK and with UNDP!

And we are also excited to see what happens when individuals propose and implement initiatives for social change. This is what city of Rustavi in Georgia is going to enable its citizens while testing micro- funding via "Orbeliani" Platform. Crowdfunding initiative is aimed at raising awareness and funds for photovoltaic installation having additional features for electronic voting for citizen initiatives accessible to every resident in the city in public spaces and further contributing to fulfilling  commitments to reducing their GHGs emissions by 20%. 

All the countries included all have high to very high potential to produce energy from the sun, but until now this opportunity has not been captured due to the lack of cooperation and coordination among municipalities that are in many cases the 'drivers' of the energy transition. This is why - within the Solar Cities initiative - UNDP offices in RBEC region connected to make this campaigns happen.

These projects have been prepared after the mayors from Moldova, Georgia, Serbia and Tajikistan signed the Solar Mayors Charter - an international declaration of Mayors pushing for the adoption of solar powers in cities. The initiative was launched in March 2019 and supported by UNDP as a part of the Solar Cities project, aiming to boost solar energy projects and citizen involvement in the energy transition.

The initiatives are managed by UNDP Moldova and UNDP AltFinLab in partnership with the Citizenergy, and with a support from Go Parity impact Investing platform and Energy Cities Europe's largest Association of local authorities for energy transition. More developments to follow from all countries, be sure to follow the campaigns and donate!!

​Authors: 

Marina Petrović, UNDP Istanbul Regional Hub

Robert Pašičko, UNDP Istanbul Regional Hub

Ana Seke, UNDP Serbia

Miroslav Tadic, UNDP Serbia

Dumitru Vasilescu, UNDP Moldova

Otilia Vlasov, UNDP Moldova

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Monday, 18 November 2019