Power to the people: a democratic funding model sparks Renewables Revolution
Admin | 23.07.12
Abundance Generation is launching an investment platform to give people the chance to invest directly in renewable energy generation from as little as £5, up to £50,000 per investor.
Greenhouse PR is delighted to be supporting Abundance’s new campaign to attract £1.4million of investment by the end of September 2012.
With growing concerns over rising energy costs, threats to energy security and tough carbon reduction targets, there is an urgent need to build new green energy.
And, as the recession continues to hit UK wallets hard - combined with the nation’s furore over unscrupulous banking and tax-dodging dominating the headlines over the past few weeks and months (think Bob Diamond and Barclays, think Jimmy Carr and K2) - consumer concerns are also focusing on, ‘where is my money going? Where’s it being invested? Do I have a say in this?’
Enter Abundance Generation. Their goal: to crowd-source £1.4million in funding for a renewables energy project based in the Forest of Dean, by September 2012.
Abundance is offering the opportunity to invest in its first renewable energy project in partnership with Resilient Energy Great Dunkilns (REGD) at Great Dunkilns Farm in the Forest of Dean. Investors will buy debentures in the project to secure a return based on a share of the profits produced by selling renewable energy with an effective rate of return of between 6.75% and 8%.
Through ‘democratic finance’ (coined by Abundance), their mission is to create a Renewables Revolution, by providing people with a real opportunity to invest in renewables projects and help shape the development of clean energy infrastructure - however much they have to invest.
As the banking crisis deepens, traction has been gained by pressure groups, such as Positive Money and Move Your Money, as consumers seek more control over financial investment.
The scheme has wide appeal to the increasing number of people who want to make a difference with their money. Investors will be directly funding renewables infrastructure for the 21st Century, generating growth and revenue in the real economy, whilst being rewarded with a good financial return.
Renewable energy development and infrastructure builds have been severely underfunded, and government subsidies (now cut by Greg Barker, Minister of State for Energy and Climate Change) for smaller groups hoping to meet consumer energy needs simply have not been able to support demand at scale.
Bruce Davis, co-founder and Joint Managing Director comments, “There’s a massive gap in the funding of renewable energy. The current well-intentioned, individually-organized projects are good as far as they go, but are relatively inefficient and can’t scale up quickly enough to meet demand. By bringing together lots of investors, Abundance can attract levels of funding needed to build large scale projects costing tens of millions of pounds.”
Davis is no stranger to peer-to-peer lending. Founding Zopa in March 2005), Davis established the very first online peer-to-peer lending marketplace in the world. Today, Zopa has around half a million members (including small businesses, refused loans by the banks) who have lent more than £190million between each other. Davis is now bringing his expertise to Abundance and the renewable energy sector, enabling people to use their money to build a secure, sustainable UK.
With the success of the build in Forest of Dean with REGD, Abundance plans to focus its attention to bigger projects with the mission of reaching £250million of investment over five years - making renewable energy more widely available, as well as offering regular cash returns to its investors.
Abundance Generation is now live and people are able to invest between £5 and £50,000 in this new democratically-financed project, and join the Renewables Revolution.
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