Thrive Renewables, which has been funding clean energy projects since 1994, has launched a crowdfunding offer in order to build new renewable energy generation and storage across the UK. It comes at a critical time for UK energy policy, with renewables a key sector for growth in response to the gas price crisis.
Recent development projects Thrive Renewables has invested in include England’s tallest onshore wind turbine in partnership with Ambition Community Energy, a 20MW battery project in Bristol and the UK’s first commercial deep geothermal electricity generation plant in Cornwall. The company has also recently built a 5MW battery storage facility near Milton Keynes and funded the installation of a number of commercial solar rooftop installations.
The share offer is promoted by Triodos Bank UK, through its crowdfunding platform (triodoscrowdfunding.co.uk). The campaign aims to raise at least £5 million for Thrive Renewables, which has almost 30 years’ experience in building, owning and operating clean energy projects with the backing of thousands of investors – large and small.
The new investment will support Thrive in the first stage of its ambitious plans for growth, diversifying and expanding its portfolio of clean energy projects to create value across the electricity system as it transitions to net zero by 2035. As well as investing in new onshore wind and commercial solar projects, Thrive intends to increase its battery storage and baseload capacity and the collaborative funding available for community energy groups to build their own renewable energy projects.
In 2021 Thrive’s wind, solar and hydro projects generated just over 110,000 MWh of renewable electricity, enough to power over 30,000 UK homes or 28% of all UK electric vehicle journeys. Its portfolio also delivered 49,515 tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions reductions.
A certified B Corporation, Thrive has been a mission-based business since its foundation, with an ambition to power the transition to a sustainable energy future by helping people connect with clean energy projects as investors. The company was first established by Triodos Bank as ‘The Wind Fund plc’ in 1994, to provide retail investors with the opportunity to invest directly in clean energy projects.Since 2016, the company has been independent of Triodos Bank, and branded as Thrive Renewables.
The minimum investment in the crowdfunding offer is £94 (40 shares) and shares can be held in a self-invested personal pension (SIPP). The company is targeting 5-8% return per year through a combination of dividends and increasing share value. As with all investments, returns are not guaranteed, and investors may not get back all, or any, of their original investment.
Matthew Clayton, managing director of Thrive Renewables, commented:“Climate change is one of the greatest challenges we currently face, with the consequences already being seen on a global scale. To reduce carbon emissions in line with net zero, we need to rapidly accelerate our transition to a cleaner, fairer energy system. Renewable energy sources such as wind, hydro and solar are accessible, affordable, sustainable, and reliable, helping to improve the UK’s energy security as well as revitalise the economy by creating new green jobs.
“We have been working at the forefront of clean energy since our inception in 1994, helping grow renewables from an ‘alternative concept’ – accounting for less than 2% of our electricity mix – to the mainstream. Today, over a third of UK electricity is generated by renewables but this still needs to increase substantially. Our growth and diversification plan will allow us to not only to increase our income and social and environmental impact, but also become an even more resilient business.
“Now more than ever, people need to connect to our energy system. Thrive enables ordinary people to fund clean energy projects – they can see what their money is being used for. The climate emergency and energy crisis may feel too huge for any one of us to remedy, but by working together we can build new projects and deliver tangible change.”
Whitni Thomas, head of corporate finance at Triodos Bank UK, added: “This crowdfunding opportunity will give investors a direct link to a pioneering company in the renewable energy sector, where they can clearly see the positive impact that their investment is making. Thrive has a great track record in demonstrating how clean energy projects can help create a more just energy system, all while aiming to generate a fair financial return for shareholders.”
Thrive Renewables has £96 million assets under management. It posted an operating profit of £2.5 million and a turnover of £11 million for 2021, with shareholders set to receive a 7 pence per share annual dividend in July 20221.However, investors should not base their expectations of future results on past performance.
Mike Atkinson, a former IT project manager, is retired and lives in the West Country. He said: “I chose to invest in Thrive 17 years ago to kick-start renewable energy in the UK and I took more shares in 2019 because it’s important that clean energy continues to grow.
“I think Thrive provides the right balance between purpose and profit, which is good because few people will invest for purely altruistic reasons.”
1Subject to approval at the company’s Annual General Meeting on 28 June 2022