The 1st crowd-investing for solar roofs in Croatia

The first crowd-investing initiative in Croatia implemented the crowd investment, a micro-loan model, to involve its citizens in the sustainable development of their city – Križevci.

The 1st crowd-investing for solar roofs in Croatia

A solar PV system was installed on the rooftop of Križevci’s Development Center and Technology Park’s administrative building.

The Green Energy Cooperative provided solar equipment for lease to the city of Križevci, the owner of the building, for 10 years. All investors signed a loan agreement with the Cooperative for 10 years as well, for which an annual interest on accrued funds was projected. The modelled system (50 kW), installed on the rooftop of the business centre, primarily covered the needs of the users of the centre in terms of electricity. The city paid the actual electricity consumption, and from the monthly savings, it returned investment to citizen-investors. The energy surplus was sold to the network. After 10 years (required for the investment to pay off) the system was transferred into the city’s ownership and continued to make savings.

Involved actors

The Green Energy Cooperative is led by the partners from the city of Križevci, Regional Energy Agency North, Greenpeace Croatia, Solvis and ACT Group.

The municipality of Križevci provided administrative and financial support in the preparation phase and grants an energy-saving fee for 10 years to investors. The Green Energy Cooperative has provided the solar equipment on lease to the city for 10 years. The Regional Energy Agency North developed a cost-effectiveness analysis and the general design documentation. Solvis, a PV module producer from Croatia, installed the PV plant on the rooftop.

Key success factors

  • The City of Križevci encourages its citizens to invest in local RE production, in accordance with the objectives set in their Sustainable Energy Action Plan.
  • For crowd-investing projects, which intend to attract citizens – small investors, it is advisable to offer an interest rate higher than the one provided by commercial banks, in order to make it more attractive.
  • Crowdfunding for renewable energy has become quite common in the last few years. Many platforms are available to manage such projects and communicate with the participants. Furthermore, nowadays it is easier to obtain a good return on investment because of the decreasing costs of renewables.