A stunning solar tree is to be built in Brislington, Bristol, UK, as the result of a crowd funding campaign by Demand Energy Equality on peoplefund.it to raise £10,000.
Demand Energy Equality has raised over £5,000 on the crowd funding website, to build the world's first solar tree. This has been matched funded by renewable energy platform, energyshare, bringing their funding total to over £10,000.
The funds will be used to create a stunning solar tree, designed by sculptor, John Packer, with solar panels for leaves. The tree will be created to raise awareness of the need to make renewable energy sources accessible to low income households. The tree will be made by local community groups from around Bristol and show them how they can create their own solar power for very little cost.
Demand Energy Equality aims to excite people about energy issues and increase access to affordable clean power in low income households. The project is in collaboration with Edible Futures, a community food project in Bristol. The tree will provide a functioning energy system to the Edible Futures nursery and power a rain-fed irrigation system.
“It’s important that wealth should not be a barrier to renewable energy,” said Demand Energy Equality's Daniel Quiggin, “The solar tree will have an educational aspect. The local community will come together, at workshops, to build the solar PV panels that will form the leaves of the tree. In doing so, we aim to further our communities understanding of energy and energy systems as well as irrigation systems and growing our own food. It is only through an understanding of energy and food systems that our communities can become resilient and self sufficient, which is imperative given growing food and energy costs."
Peoplefund.it enables people to back great ideas by small pledges of cash in return for rewards. Once the project hits its funding target, the cash is released.
peoplefund.it is a rewards based crowd-funding platform, from KEO digital, the team behind River Cottage, energyshare, Landshare and FishFight. So far, with its partners, it has funded over 40 projects.
"Peoplefund.it was brilliant for us. It gave us a reason to promote ourselves and raise money,” said Daniel. “In the end, the project got so much support, we now have other funders willing to get involved - but we would never have found that out, if we hadn’t tried peoplefund.it."
The matchfunding for Demand Energy Equality was provided by energyshare, Britain’s leading community renewable energy platform. In April, it launched a competition for five community renewable energy projects to win match funding of up to £5,000 through crowd-funding platform peoplefund.it. Funding was secured from British Gas, who also judged the competition.
"We’re delighted for Demand Energy Equality. It’s a really exciting project that carries some important messages about community engagement in sustainable energy," says Peoplefund's Nick Underhill. "Peoplefund.it is creating real funding momentum, with two projects funded in a day last week. We hope more projects and businesses will see how they too can raise the cash they need by bringing their community together.”