Published: 23 February 2012 at 11:48
Anglia Ruskin helps to power renewable energy start-up
Microgenius, the first-ever crowdfunding service dedicated to community-based renewable energy projects, expects the launch of www.microgenius.org.uk to spark interest amongst the UK public.
The not-for-profit company is the brainchild of Cambridge eco-entrepreneur Emily Mackay, who has been supported by Anglia Ruskin University in her bid to start an online green energy revolution.
Anglia Ruskin’s Centre for Enterprise Development and Research (CEDAR) awarded Mackay £10,000 in December as part of part of its Enterprise Fellowship Scheme, and has also provided her with ongoing mentoring support.
The business model for Microgenius is based on crowdfunding, which involves groups of people pooling funds to achieve a particular aim.
Mackay wants www.microgenius.org.uk to become the hub for people wanting to find out about and invest in local green energy such as hydro and wind turbines or renewable heating schemes, as well as the platform for co-operatives and communities needing to manage the investment process.
The boom in community-based energy is being fuelled by the government’s two subsidies for green energy generation – the feed-in tariff for electricity and the newer renewable heat incentive for heat.
Subsidies are paid for energy produced and depend on the type and capacity of the installation and the date it was installed. This means there is a financial return to be made from community schemes, as well as environmental and social benefits.
Dr Aled Jones, Director of Anglia Ruskin’s Global Sustainability Institute, said:
Director of CEDAR Professor Lester Lloyd-Reason, who was part of the awarding panel, said: