Unlocking the Final Frontier of the US Solar Market

Sumbul Alvi
Sunstone Credit
Published in
4 min readNov 14, 2021


We are at an unprecedented time in human history. Never before has mankind been confronted with an existential threat as complicated and urgent to solve as climate change. It’s easy to feel overwhelmed and to struggle to find a way to make a difference as an individual. However, with great challenges come great opportunities.

When we were starting this business, there were a lot of paths we could have taken. For example, we could have created another enterprise business app that makes some boring process more efficient, increasing profitability. But, we wanted to do something meaningful — and do our part in addressing the greatest issue facing the planet.

At Sunstone Credit, we are building a company that sits at the intersection of climate and financial technology. Our products will finance the future of solar energy and other clean energy products for small and medium sized businesses (SMBs). Producing carbon free energy is the biggest mitigant to climate change and solar power is an incredibly cost effective and scalable way to do it.

Over the past ten years, the deployment of solar energy systems in the United States has grown rapidly, from under 200,000 solar installs in 2010 to just over 3,000,000 installs in 2021. And, despite the pandemic, solar deployments experienced a record annual growth rate of over 43% in 2020.

Driving the growth of solar is the advent of easily accessible and widely available financing. Solar has a large upfront cost, but the operating costs are negligible and the return on investment from owning solar is fantastic. However, you must have money (or be able to borrow it) to go solar and reap the benefits!

Companies such as Loanpal and Sunlight Financial have standardized residential solar point of sale financing. Large-scale commercial and utility solar benefit from easy ratings-based underwriting, scale, and established project finance structures. But despite the rampant growth of residential, large-scale commercial, and utility solar, a large segment of the addressable solar market remains largely untapped — SMBs and property owners.

Currently, the SMB solar space has no affordable or efficient standardized financing options. This leaves businesses and solar installers unable to address millions of properties in the US. The projects are smaller and more complicated than large-scale commercial, while the underwriting is more complex than residential. It is the last frontier of solar finance.

At Sunstone Credit, our mission is to democratize access to solar and clean energy solutions for all businesses, not just large, publicly traded companies.

To achieve our mission, we are building a best-in-class technology platform that partners with financial institutions and solar installers to provide frictionless, affordable, and efficient financing to SMB borrowers. To tackle climate change and reach our decarbonization goals, every segment of the solar market needs to thrive. SMBs are the heart and soul of the American economy. They can use the savings from solar to hire new employees, upgrade equipment and expand operations. Its time to serve their clean energy needs as well.

The SMB solar market is a trillion-plus market opportunity that simply lacks suitable financing. Solar installers want to sell, and businesses are ready to buy. But the financing problem remains unaddressed. It’s a challenging situation that folks have banged their heads against for the past 15 years. Some have called it an impossible problem to solve. But as Napoleon said, “Impossible is a word only in the dictionary of fools.”

We are no fools, and we believe that the most challenging problems are the only problems worth tackling.

Building Sunstone is going to be hard. But the work is critically important — to finance the growth of the SMB solar market and drive a cleaner future for the planet. We are committed to building long-term partnerships with capital providers, clean energy developers, and business borrowers that are deeply rooted in integrity, respect, and mutual benefit. As well, we are looking for creative, hard-working, entrepreneurial folks to join our mission — on the engineering, business development and commercial underwriting teams as well as product managers to help manage the multiple streams of work and a UI/UX designer to assist with brand, marketing and web product design. If you are ready to make a contribution towards humanity’s greatest challenge (and have fun doing it), email us at jobs@sunstonecredit.com.

Let’s build a financial technology company that will have a lasting positive impact on our world. Together we can successfully democratize access to solar and clean energy technology for all businesses.



Sumbul Alvi
Sunstone Credit

CTO @ Sunstone Credit - Building a B2B Fintech Platform in the renewable energy space to tackle the climate crisis