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CoPower

CoPower

CoPower is an online marketplace for investing in clean energy infrastructure.  Their goal is to make it easy for the average investor to align their portfolio with their values by investing in energy efficiency and clean energy generation projects that offer solid returns and predictable cashflows, along with measured social and environmental returns.

The clean energy market offers exciting opportunities to make a profit while helping the environment. CoPower works with energy firms and developers, providing capital to deploy proven technologies into more clean energy projects, which generate returns through the energy savings and sale of clean energy.  Investors of all sizes can invest directly into real clean energy assets through diversified products that deliver solid yields and tangible impact.

CoPower was founded in 2013 by Raphael Bouskila and David Berliner, who wanted to capitalize on three exciting trends in energy and finance:

  1. The shift towards distributed clean energy generation and advances in energy efficiency & storage, which is reducing dependence on centralized, fossil-fuel burning utilities;
  2. The rise of online investing platforms, which is opening up new investment opportunities to various investor segments;
  3. The growing demand for impact investments that intentionally generate positive social or environmental impact alongside financial returns.
 

Innovation and Philosophy

Technological advances have transformed how we produce and consume energy. In recent years, global economies have dramatically reduced their reliance on fossil fuels, by using mature clean energy and energy efficiency technologies. According to Bloomberg New Energy Finance, in 2014 alone over $300B was invested in clean energy, mostly by banks, pension funds, and ultra-high net worth investors. Still, business models – particularly financing solutions, are lagging, and many small but profitable projects struggle to access capital, limiting deployment.

Meanwhile, average investors are often excluded from this market opportunity due to the high capital and expertise requirements. CoPower lowers these barriers to entry, linking capital supply and demand by making investing in a clean economy simple and accessible.  The platform also allows investors to easily place capital and monitor their financial and impact performance.

The market potential for clean energy investments is enormous, and climate change is a driving imperative. The International Energy Agency estimates that investment in renewable energy and energy efficiency must be approximately $20 trillion by 2035 in order to meet global carbon reduction targets(opens PDF in new window). But that doesn’t mean there is a trade-off between environmental and financial return: Many technologies are already in the market and making a difference. The opportunity is now for financial innovation to accelerate deployment.

 

Impact

CoPower’s primary environmental impact is the amount of carbon offset by the projects they finance. Their platform further accelerates a reduction in greenhouse gases by helping new businesses succeed and by fostering the growth of a Canadian clean energy ecosystem. Finally, by making it easy for Canadians to participate in clean energy investing, CoPower is helping build awareness of the impact everyday individuals can have, and empower them to use their assets to invest in a cleaner future.

 
 

Key Details

Investee: CoPower

Location: Montreal, Quebec

Mission: To unlock capital for climate change solutions by empowering individuals to invest for profit and purpose. 

RBC investment details: $125,000 equity

Date of initial RBC investment: July 2015