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People-powered solar: unlocking solar in emerging markets with finance innovations for individuals

Salomé Bronkhorst May 13, 2021

This informal panel discussion, delivered through four diverse voices, will show how we can build energy resilience in emerging markets through innovative investing mechanisms that cater to sustainability-minded individuals. 

At the same time, it will also demonstrate how to effectively address the main barrier to the global renewable energy transition – financing for small to medium sized solar projects in emerging markets that can be rolled out at speed. 

The discussion will zoom in on the solar power journey of one under-served organisation in Africa — Nhimbe Fresh, a Zimbabwean farm and premium exporter of fresh produce — and touch on the economic, environmental and social benefits of going solar with the support of a global community of individual investors.

The panel discussion will feature: 

Abe Cambridge, the CEO and Founder of Sun Exchange: With Sun Exchange individuals can earn a solar-powered income by buying solar cells in crowdsales hosted on the Sun Exchange platform. These solar cells are then leased to power farms, schools, businesses and other organisations in sunny emerging markets. Solar cell owners offset their carbon footprint as they earn, while the organisations they solar power gain access to affordable, reliable clean energy. 

Mike Silvestrini, founding partner at Energea: Energea is a renewable energy investment platform which connects individual investors to renewable energy projects in Africa, Brazil and other markets. Energea is partnering with Sun Exchange and Nhimbe Fresh to finance a 1 megawatt solar plus 2.3 megawatt-hour battery storage system for Nhimbe Fresh’s irrigation, which will be offered to U.S. investors. Mike also founded Greenskies Renewable Energy LLC, which became the largest commercial and industrial solar developer prior to Mike’s exit, in 2017.

Edwin Moyo, Executive Chairman of Nhimbe Fresh: Nhimbe Fresh is a farm and premium exporter of fresh produce based in Zimbabwe. The company is transitioning to solar power in three phases and has already secured solar finance of $1.4 million worth of solar cells, which were bought by more than 1,700 individuals across 98 countries. 

[*To be confirmed]: The fourth panel member will likely be an individual that has bought solar cells in the Nhimbe Fresh solar project. They will discuss their motivations for joining the global movement of individuals committed to the energy transition and the main benefits and drawbacks as they see them. 



Meta Themes

  • Climate Action

  • Impact Investing

  • Sustainable Development


Decentralized renewable energy finance, Impact investing, Africa, Democratic energy access

Purpose and Desired Outcome

The purpose of this event will be to demonstrate how solar power is already being facilitated in emerging markets through new, innovative and very scalable finance mechanisms that are inherently inclusive, democratic, decentralised, fast-acting and equitable. The desired outcome is to inspire and promote action among the investment community, entrepreneurs, accelerators and incubators to help give momentum to these and similar finance and investing models.


  • Allocators (Family Offices, HNW Individuals, Foundations)

  • Intermediaries (Financial Advisers, Investment Bankers)

  • Asset Managers

  • Entrepreneurs

  • Academia

  • Accelerators & Incubators


  • NameAbraham Cambridge
  • TitleCEO and Founder
  • OrganizationSun Exchange
  • StatusConfirmed
  • NameMike Silvestrini
  • TitleFounding Partner
  • OrganizationEnergea
  • StatusConfirmed
  • NameEdwin Moyo
  • TitleExecutive Chairman
  • OrganizationNhimbe Fresh
  • StatusConfirmed
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