Trine investment review: Passive income while helping the planet

Right now, more than one billion people lack access to electricity. Trine, founded by Andreas Lehner and Sam Manaberi, is an investment platform of funding solar energy projects.

Trine investment platform uses a novel crowdfunding model to offer financial solutions to off-grid solar projects. They ensure that solar energy gets to the people who need electricity and makes it easy for people to make a social-environmental impact while making profits when they invest.

Trine believes in making purposeful profits. It is a principle they are committed to stemming from their founding goal of ending lack of energy. They realize that finding a sustainable long-term solution is the key to ending energy poverty.

Why I like Trine

  • Investors can make a meaningful profit by making an investment and earning profits while changing people's lives and helping to conserve the planet.
  • Trine is also helpful to local solar partners as it enables them to create a sustainable business. By so doing, they will be developing long-term partnerships to bring a clean and environmentally friendly energy to their people. 
  • And for end-users, it empowers them to invest in the future, which would enable them to get access to clean and safe energy and new opportunities.
The platform enables individual investors to find a solar project to invest in and bring energy to emerging markets. Once the project is launched a local solar partner installs and manages the solar installation on the ground.

Like is usual to unamortized loans, you will often gain interest during the project (I've seen 10%+ percents) and once the project finishes, your principal is returned to you. Some projects however, will give you the interest and principal only at the end (like the one I have invested in).

Trine is working hard to ensure that investors don't lose money, and so they currently don’t have any losses. To do that, Trine offers a feature called Investment Protection with some of their projects.

The initial investments on projects that have the Investment Protection are at least partially guaranteed in a collaboration by the Swedish International Development Agency (Sida). So, if the loan originator defaults, you should get at least part of your initial investment back.

How trine projects have changed lives in Africa

One of the accomplishments of Trine so far is that they have fully funded 20 projects. This should give credibility to the platform. With these projects:
  • More than 2,5 million euros has been invested in solar
  • More than 194,000 people will get clean energy
  • There will be 58,000 tons reduction of carbon dioxide emissions.
There are various ways how loans from Trine have changed people's lives in Africa. By using solar energy, they make savings which they use for education, food, opening shops, and improving people's standard of living in general.

One of Trine's solar projects in Kenya, Raj Ushanga House sells about 2000 solar systems every month. This project alone is calculated to have provided clean energy to about 10,000 locals in Kenya. It brings me great joy to be part of enabling this change.

How to get started with trine investments

Getting started with Trine is actually simpler than with many other crowdlending platforms:
  1. Create an account on
  2. Choose a project to invest in.
  3. Choose an amount to invest, minimum 25 €.
  4. Verify your personal details (might take up to 3 working days)
  5. Choose your method of payment (credit/debit cards or bank payment)
The way this process is different to so many other platforms is that instead of asking you to first transfer money on your account, Trine lets you choose your claim first and you can wire the funds after. This way, you will be reserved a claim to the loan immediately, within minutes from signing up.

Trine conveniently shows you your impact as you are choosing your investment.

To understand your compounding impact, try out my compounding interest calculator.

Cons of Trine investments

Compared to other crowdleding platforms I invest on, Trine isn't the highest paying - if you count only monetary returns. With the 1,000 € I invested in a project in Tanzania, I'm offsetting a whopping 38 tons of CO2 over the next three years, while getting 7% interest.

As said, the interest isn't highest possible, but it's an A-rated company and I consider the risk quite low. If I were to buy the same CO2 offset through compensation, I would easily have to pay the same amount without hopes of any interest nor the paypack of my principal. Just charity.

In the past, Trine has sometimes had trouble filling projects quickly, but as Trine's popularity has increased, that problem has also reduced.

Full disclosure

I don't have the best way of living when it comes to the planet. I travel way too much, but I'm trying.

I'm becoming a big proponent of ethical investing. I believe if we make wiser decisions with money, we can definitely improve the condition our planet is in. While CO2 investing will not buy my a clean conscious, it does get the ball rolling. It's better than compensation and it's way better than doing nothing. For the simplicity, low risk, medium interest and an awesome purpose, Trine gets a full five stars from me ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ - It is difficult to find others like it.

So far, I've invested 1,000 € through Trine and getting 7% p.a. on this. The partner that implements this project has a 10-year history in solar and I consider the projects very low risk. For anyone considering to offset their own CO2 or eventually become CO2 negative, Trine is a great choice.

Instead of producing 15 tons of CO2 in 2019, I'm 23 tons negative. My long-term plan is to first become lifetime CO2 negative.

If you want to join this journey, please sign up to Trine using my affiliate link and thus help me run this blog.
Blog posts may contain affiliate links

Others have liked these posts