From solar gardens on someone else's land to community-owned solar on a brewery roof, we've seen plenty of options for people wanting to support solar but not wanting, or not able, to put panels on their own building. John Farrell over at Renewable Energy World reports on SolarShare bonds in Canada that allow individual citizens to invest in solar projects in their region and—like Ecotricity's eco-bonds in the UK—enjoy a very healthy rate of return in the process:
Thanks to innovative energy policy, residents of Ontario can invest in local solar power projects by buying SolarShare bonds. The $1,000 bond provides a five percent annual return over five years, and the money is invested in solar power projects across the province (as the chart below shows, this beats a savings account with 0.8 percent interest or even a five-year U.S. treasury, with 0.91 percent interest).
Of course, as Farrell points out, these schemes don't just build more solar. They keep more of the returns from solar projects circulating in the local economy. And that's got to be a good thing.