CEFC gives green loan marketplace $20m boost

The investment into RateSetter marks a first in peer-to-peer clean energy lending, Australia’s green bank says.

Peer-to-peer lender RateSetter’s efforts to mobilise financing for renewable projects got a boost on Friday, as Australia’s Clean Energy Finance Corporation committed A$20 million ($14.89 million; €13.32 million) to the company’s Green Loan marketplace.

The platform is aimed at bringing together investors, borrowers and clean energy providers to facilitate renewable projects. After investors submit the amount they wish to invest and the interest rate they will accept, they are matched with approved borrowers.

“This innovative facility offers the potential to improve the marketability of green assets, by bringing purchasers, installers and manufacturers closer together,” CEFC chief executive Ian Learmonth said. “There have been green loans before, and there has been peer-to-peer lending, but combining the two into one platform is an Australian first.”

The programme will target solar energy and related storage assets as well as energy-efficient equipment.

“Investment in this transaction could establish a successful precedent to pave the way for a rollout of similar ‘green’ platforms,” CEFC debt markets lead Richard Lovell said.

Launched in 2012, the CEFC serves as Australia’s green bank and aims to increase the flow of capital into clean energy projects. As of September 2016, the organisation had committed A$2.3 billion in total investment.