Wants to be New Funding Source for Renewable Energy Sector.
Debuting with five projects, Clean Reach, the world’s first crowdfunding platform for the ocean energy industry launched today, designed to address a lack of early-stage funding for a fast-growing part of the renewable energy sector.
Clean Reach exists to address one of the largest challenges facing the renewable energy sector: access to adequate funding. Entrepreneurial start-ups, coastal communities and, at times, even mature ocean energy developers face challenges in getting enough funding and other resources to go from a good idea to marketable technology; in energy, those challenges are particularly acute.
“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,” said Clean Reach Co-Founder and CEO Stephanie Thornton. “Creating commercially viable ocean energy technology is paramount, but investors aren’t giving renewable energy the attention it deserves. We must work harder now to prepare for the future.”
University of Michigan Professor of Naval Architecture Michael Bernitsas estimates that just .1 percent of the ocean’s energy could support the needs of 15 billion people, or twice the world population. Though ocean energy technology has incredible potential, it is still relatively new. Continued reliance on fossil fuels is hindering the growth of the renewable energy industry, with just 3 percent of American venture capital allocated to the energy and utility industry in 2013.
“Funding gaps through all phases of the technology development process are causing innovative and effective ideas to perish,” said Clean Reach Co-Founder and CTO Terry Thornton. “Clean Reach is a resource for developers and communities in need of funding, and for passionate supporters hoping to connect with forward-thinking ideas.”
Current Projects live on the site include:
- Hebridean Marine Energy Futures recognizes that ocean energy is a global challenge that requires global connections. This project will send one lucky student to Scotland to engage in educational ocean energy endeavors.
- The International Conference on Ocean Energy supports leaders from around the world who work tirelessly to advance the ocean energy industry. This project honors one of these leaders and inspires others to follow suit.
- The International Network on Offshore Renewable Energy backs passionate minds that are shaping the future of ocean energy and finding ways to overcome challenges. This project helps foster perpetual international research and collaboration.
- Uniturbine is an entrepreneurial effort that is making waves in efficiency. This project advances development of a technology that improves wave energy capture and lowers the cost of energy production.
- The innovator behind a new wave energy turbine generator makes simplicity a priority. This project helps advance a technology that’s focused on efficiency, power and cost effectiveness.