Thrive Renewables, which has been funding, building and operating clean energy projects for almost 30 years, has launched a new share offer to support its aim to double the amount of renewable energy generation capacity in its portfolio over the next five years.
Equity raised through the crowdfunding offer will be used to build new onshore wind, solar, geothermal and battery storage projects. The company aims to help to transform the UK’s electricity system, reducing its reliance on imported fossil fuels and ultimately reducing household bills.
The minimum investment in the crowdfunding offer is £243 (100 shares) and shares can be held in a self-invested personal pension (SIPP). The company is targeting a 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.
Large scale solar PV and battery projects
Thrive Renewables’ pipeline includes several large-scale solar PV and battery storage projects through its £20 million investment in infrastructure company Ethical Power. Thrive has also recently invested £4 million in community energy group, ATTIX CIC, to build Scotland’s first subsidy free, 100% community-owned onshore wind turbine just outside Kilbirnie, North Ayrshire.
These new deals will complement an existing portfolio of 22 operational projects which generated £5.9 million of operating profits and delivered the equivalent of 28,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions reductions in the first half of 2023.
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Other recent development projects include providing £4 million funding to construct England’s largest onshore wind turbine, which is wholly community-owned, and a 20 MW battery in its home city of Bristol, plus a total of £6 million investment in United Downs – the UK’s first deep geothermal electricity generation plant in Cornwall, which also has the potential for the extraction of lithium for battery manufacture.
This share offer is promoted by Triodos Bank UK, through its crowdfunding platform and aims to raise the first £2 million for Thrive Renewables as part of a wider fundraising campaign to raise £10 million in the next six months and a total of £50 million by 2028. It builds on a successful £6.8 million crowdfunding raise in 2022. A secondary market is run by share matching platform JP Jenkins using a series of monthly auctions.
Matthew Clayton, managing director of Thrive Renewables, explained further: “Getting to Net Zero is a huge economic and social opportunity for the UK to create a cleaner, fairer, more resilient energy system, but we have to take urgent action now. In the context of climate emergency and the planet heating at an alarming rate, many people will find the current uncertainty and prevarication in the UK immensely frustrating. With the support of over 7,000 investors, we fund and build new wind, solar, geothermal and storage projects to help reduce carbon emissions and benefit local people. We’re building on a track record of almost 30 years with ambitious plans to double our generation capacity over the next five years.”
Whitni Thomas, head of corporate finance at Triodos Bank UK, added: “With COP28 approaching many of us are looking for ways to take action. Personal investment choices are a powerful opportunity to use our money as a vote for change. Thrive Renewables provides shareholders with a really clear investment proposition, enabling them to have a direct impact on the UK’s energy transition. They have been a pioneer in renewable energy in the UK and continue to push the sector forwards backing a wide range of technologies.”
The new investment will help Thrive to further its impact, expanding its portfolio of wind and solar projects and complementing them with the battery storage and baseload hydro and geothermal capacity needed to support the future energy system.
The company also plans to invest in more ‘private wire’ renewable generation, helping UK businesses to access a direct supply of clean electricity by funding solar and wind projects built on site at their premises.
In 2022, Thrive’s wind, solar and hydro projects generated just over 133,858 MWh of renewable electricity, enough to power the equivalent of over 38,000 UK homes or 22% of all UK electric vehicle journeys. Its portfolio also delivered 58,314 tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions reductions.
A certified B Corporation, Thrive has been a mission-based business since it was formed, with an ambition to power the transition to a sustainable energy future by helping people connect with clean energy projects. Over the last 29 years, it has raised £58 million from its community of over 6,000 shareholders and 1,000 bondholders, using the money to develop or fund a renewable energy portfolio of 34 sites in total.
Thrive Renewables 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.
Thrive Renewables posted an operating profit of £5.9 million and a turnover of £12.3 million for the first half of 2023. With £110 million of assets under management, shareholders received a 12 pence per share annual dividend in July 2023. Investors should note that past performance is no indication of future likely performance.
Mira Vogel, who works as a lecturer at a London university, took part in a previous 2022 Thrive share offer. She says: “We won’t have a habitable world if we don’t divest from fossil fuels and the prospect of climate change is feeling really urgent now. I have decreased my individual use, but that has little impact overall. I feel that investing in renewable energy is something that I can do to contribute to systemic change. After reading the offer document, I decided that I could trust Thrive – I particularly liked the balance towards supporting small organisations, as well as the storage and generation projects. Thrive leans towards decentralisation of energy and I’m in favour of that. I also like its support for community-owned generation and storage.”