SocGen acquires crowdfunding platform for renewable energy
The French bank hopes with one small acquisition to burnish its green credentials, meet government requirements on renewable energy and show its potential to adapt disruptive financial technology
By Elizabeth Bratton and Peter Lee
On June 21, Société Générale announced the acquisition for an undisclosed sum of Lumo, a French crowdfunding platform, through which users can invest small sums into sustainable power projects, and, in return, receive a modest interest rate from the sale of the green energy they produce. Founded in 2012, Lumo has helped raise funding for forty wind, solar and hydroelectric projects, producing over 260 million Kilowatt Hours; enough to cover the annual energy needs of roughly 100,000 homes.
Most of these projects have been small-scale and almost eccentric sounding, such as Soleil 2 La Pallice, a solar farm installed on the roof of a former submarine base in Pallice, La Rochelle. This produces the energy required for approximately 800 homes every year.
Société Générale has bigger plans and hopes that with Lumo it can now better support its large, corporate energy clients in developing sustainable projects. The French government has been leaning on banks to help realise its ambitious Renewable Energy Liberation Plan. The Multiannual Energy Plan also aims for 32% of total energy produced to be renewable; for buildings to decrease their energy consumption by 15%; and for there to be a 22.6%