Energy in Common

Energy in Common (EIC) was a not-for-profit organization issuing microloans specifically and only for renewable energy technologies. EIC was founded by Hugh Whalan and Scott Tudman in 2009 (website launch 2010). It is the most ambitious goal of delivering renewable energy to 15 million people in the next five years, while fighting poverty by empowering developing world entrepreneurs through microloans. EIC is one of the most promising contenders in the growing green microfinance sector. As of 2012, it has ceased operations due to a lack of funds after their overseas partners defaulted on their loan obligations. EIC operates very similarly to Kiva. In the box of Kiva, lenders provide funds with zero return to the world of entrepreneurs to invest in their businesses. EIC does this, but does focus on purchasing renewable energy systems like solar photovoltaic panels. What makes EIC particularly unique in microfinance non-profit sector is that they have created a model to measure the greenhouse gas emissions that are created by their loans. The EIC model helps provide funding for developing world entrepreneurs for energy solutions.

The following list of primarily renewable energy technologies:

Biodigesters convert organic wastes such as food waste, human waste and animal waste into nutrient rich liquid fertilizer and biogas (thus a renewable fuel made up primarily of methane). A biodigester is made up of a bag or tank that holds the organic matter during the biogas. Biogas is used as a replacement for kerosene, firewood, or any other fuel source fuel used in the developing world such as cow dung. Biodegraduates thus produce renewable energy, cut down on odors and pathogens in organic materials, reduce surface and groundwater contamination, improve indoor air quality and provide a source of high quality organic fertilizer as a byproduct-that has been shown to improve crop yields and decrease fertilizer costs.

Clean burning stoves improve the fuel utilization over common stoves. There are several types of propane burners, such as charcoal, or dung. This is somewhat controversial as it is a potential source of negative effects of becoming dependent on a non-renewable energy source. Less controversial, is a clean burning stove that uses wood, charcoal, or dung, but burns more efficiently. These stoves are designed to increase the availability of fuel, and to reduce the amount of fuel required to provide fuel for cooking.

The LED lamps combines a small solar panel with a rechargeable battery and an array of LED lights, which is used to replace dangerous light. LED lights are known to be very efficient, which prolongs the illumination time on the charging made by the PV.

A typical solar photovoltaic is a small solar panel (both pole or roof mounted) connected to a charge controller and a small battery. The stored solar electricity can be used for other electrical equipment (eg cell phone charger, OLPC, radio, TV, or computer).

EICs create carbon offsets from emission reductions that have finished. In this way, lenders and those who make donations to carbon credits can be sure that all emissions have already happened. They do this by providing detailed questionnaires before, during and after the loan, and in – depth auditing conducted by EIC and independent auditing firms in order to sell the carbon offsets. The particular role of a credit card issuer and a tax credit from EIC.

EIC developed the “Nanoloan” concept. For most microfinance institutions (eg Kiva) the minimum loan is $ 25 and the average payment time is 18 months. This can be a lot of well-intentioned people off the concept. EIC Nanoloans are a limited run of $ 5 loans, specifically designed to be repaid in just 60 days. The object of offering nanolingers is to introduce new lenders to the entire microlending process fast.

EIC has been covered extensively in the green alternative including The Huffington Post, Mother Nature Network, GreenBiz, the Next Billion and the CNN standard.

Energy in Common announced on its Facebook page on September 19, 2013 that all lending activities have been suspended and delinquent borrowers were underway. Subsequent replies on Facebook and more. There is no activity on its Twitter feed since June 26, 2012.