Clean Reach is the world’s first such platform for the fast-growing ocean energy sector offering a new way to develop an energy source that could offer a potentially limitless source of energy. It has been designed to address one of the largest problems facing the renewable energy sector, access to adequate funding. This is a challenge that often be acute for entrepreneurial start-ups, and sometimes mature ocean energy developers, when attempting to transform good ideas into marketable projects.
“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. Clean Reach’s crowdfunding platform is an easy way for people to have a direct impact in creating environmental benefits and advancing the ocean energy industry.”
According to University of Michigan Professor of Naval Architecture Michael Bernitsas, just 1 percent of the ocean’s energy could support the needs of 15 billion people, or twice the global population. However the technology is still relatively new and faces pressure from continued reliance on fossil fuels 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" added Clean Reach Co-Founder and CTO Terry Thornton. "Clean Reach is both a resource for developers and communities in need of funding, and for passionate supporters hoping to connect with forward-thinking ideas."
Clean Reach will help the sector to overcome key barriers, increase access to funding, improve collaboration among project developers, gain strategic advice and strengthen public awareness of the industry’s tremendous potential. It is aiming to become the ocean energy sector equivalent of Kickstarter with a global reach, helping to implement projects in many different countries worldwide supported by donations provided through PayPal.
The platform will build a portfolio of projects across all sectors of the ocean energy industry including tidal, wave, offshore wind, thermal and current. Clean Reach will assist coastal communities who want to move forward with clean ocean energy projects and organizations involved in developing a specific or unique ocean energy initiative or programme that advances the industry. This could involve providing educational opportunities for students through to fostering global research collaborations. It will also work to attract and develop public interest in renewable ocean energy development aiming to transform that interest into investment for ocean energy initiatives.
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