Why a Cooperative Model for Clean Energy Financing Couldn't Miss
by Blake Jones, co-founder and board chair of the Clean Energy Credit Union
In 2017, Clean Energy Credit Union (“Clean Energy CU”) received its federal charter and became the first “thematic,” online-only, federally insured depository institution with an exclusive focus on clean energy lending. Since then, Clean Energy CU has experienced tremendous success and is influencing both the banking and clean energy sectors. To say that “the time was right” for Clean Energy CU would be an understatement. Understanding its right-out-of-the-gate success requires a look at the underlying market conditions that necessitated its launch. Of the 5,000+ credit unions and 5,000+ banks in the USA, only a handful were paying any attention to the sector.
Against the backdrop of the clean energy economy were burgeoning concepts like impact investing, conscientious consumerism, and purposeful careers. In that evolving, impact-economy landscape, the need for an “impact banking” or “sustainable banking” option was plain to see. With that, Clean Energy CU was started because there were a surprisingly limited number of options for consumers to choose from and widespread awareness had yet to be raised that where you deposit your money was as important as how you earned, invested, and spent it.
Clean Energy CU may be the first of its kind, but it won’t be the last. New fintech companies and banks with similar goals are popping up like Aspiration, Climate First Bank, and Atmos. Clean Energy CU aims to help grow the clean energy movement and disrupt the entire retail banking sector which is receiving increased pressure to stop its fossil fuel lending and help finance climate change mitigation. With all that it has achieved in just its first three years of operation, we’re incredibly excited about what Clean Energy CU will accomplish next.
Read Blake's full article with more interesting insights at- https://greenmoney.com/why-a-cooperative-model-for-clean-energy-financing-couldnt-miss/