24 Aug 2021
Nicosia, Malta
Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency

Can you imagine an idea that starts on one Croatian rooftop and expands to solar parks around the world? Filip Koprčina’s dream is following this trajectory through his start-up Energy Shift, which allows everyday people to invest in solar energy infrastructure. Years ago, Koprčina wanted to install solar energy panels on his apartment block’s rooftop—but he could not afford to pay by himself. The answer was simple: pool resources with other apartment owners.     

The same logic animates Energy Shift’s business model, albeit on a much grander scale. Around the world, many renewable energy projects need upfront capital investment. By using Blockchain technology, Energy Shift’s website provides a secure and effective way to channel investors’ resources to projects that make environmental and business sense. “The idea is to democratise the energy sector and help citizens to participate in the energy transition,” he said.  

Koprčina’s fascination with solar energy started before he first pooled funds with his neighbours to purchase the apartment block’s solar panels. “Renewable energy has always intrigued me,” he explained. “I wanted to see how it worked, reduce my family’s energy bills, and also contribute to saving the environment from climate change.”

Weeks of research led Koprčina to his biggest hurdle: he could not afford to buy solar panels by himself. At this point, crowdfunding websites like Kickstarter and Indiegogo inspired the young Koprčina to overcome this obstacle by collaborating with other investors. At this moment, his idea took on a life of its own. 

“This is when it hit me: what if we were to use a similar model to fund energy projects around the world?” enthused Koprčina.

In October 2018, Koprčina contacted a close friend who was working as an energy sector engineer. The pair established Energy Shift based on an investor pitch of environmental awareness and smart business sense.

“Energy Shift allows you to make money while doing good for the environment,” said Koprčina. “The plan is to expand this initiative across the world, to countries where renewable energy is really needed.”

Energy Shift has now established a registered UK company and already received investment from the European Institute of Innovation & Technology (EIT). According to Koprčina, more than 1,000 private investors have pre-registered their interest in contributing funding to dozens of solar parks around Europe.

Like any ambitious project, Energy Shift has faced its fair share of challenges. Koprčina explains that, at first, the start-up’s young team needed extensive advice and coaching on how to run a viable business from Algebra LAB, a Zagreb-based incubator.

Having become established as a company, Energy Shift then needed to build confidence amongst potential investors. “As a young start-up, you often lack credibility and recognition from investors, because they have never heard of you,” said Koprčina.

Building trust becomes an even sterner test with many older investors, who tend not to be as tech-savvy as the millennial generation. Koprčina bemoans this reluctance to invest online amongst older people, who often have greater access to financial resources.

Nevertheless, Energy Shift’s investment vision proudly includes everyone—not just the mega-rich. In Koprčina’s view, small-scale investment can provoke seismic change. “I believe that if each of us contribute in a small way, we can make the transition to renewable energy,” he said.


Learn more about Energy Shift through the website and Facebook.

Photos courtesy of Energy Shift and Nuno Marques via Unsplash

David Wood is a freelance writer and researcher based in Beirut. He previously worked in Cairo.David Wood
Solar system — Crowdfunding website pools investment for renewable energy projects | The Switchers
Energy Shift Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency