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Interview: Using Citizen Power
To Fund a U.S. Solar Revolution

Billy Parish is the president of Mosaic, an Internet “crowdfunding” service that lets individual investors put their money into commercial solar projects and earn a rate of return that currently beats anything
Billy Parish Solar Mosaic
Billy Parish
offered by a bank. This month, California regulators authorized Mosaic to offer up to $100 million in loans for solar projects. Its first loan under that authorization, $157,750 to install a 114-kilowatt array on the Ronald McDonald House in San Diego, was funded within six hours by 171 investors. Parish, 31, a co-founder of the Energy Action Coalition, decided after the failure of the 2009 climate talks in Copenhagen that the best way to drive a clean energy transition was to dive into the renewable energy business. In an interview with Yale Environment 360, Parish talks about why his generation has pursued environmental goals through entrepreneurship, how crowdfunding can fuel the solar revolution, and how he discovered “that sweet spot where making money and doing good overlap.”
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The Warriors of Qiugang, a Yale Environment 360 video that chronicles the story of a Chinese village’s fight against a polluting chemical plant, was nominated for a 2011 Academy Award for Best Documentary (Short Subject). Watch the video.


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