Abundance launches RE shared ownership platform to UK market

Abundance – the largest direct investment platform for renewable energy in the U.K. – has today launched a new shared ownership service that allows communities to link directly with developers on renewable energy projects.

The platform’s chief aim is to make it easier for shared ownership of clean energy projects, with communities helping to finance developments in solar and wind energy.

Launch comes a few weeks after the U.K.’s Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) launched its Community Energy Strategy, designed to help communities have more say in local energy projects.

Communities keen to invest via the Abundance platform are offered expected internal rates of return (IRR) of between 7-10% per year. This latest platform also offer a community engagement aspect, as well as advice on investing.

There is also a funding element, too, whereby Abundance supports developers to engage and mobilize communities via a series of awareness-raising campaigns and exercises.

"Shared ownership is a turning point for energy generation in the U.K.," said Abundance joint MD Karl Harder. “The worlds of finance and energy are evolving fast, enabling everyone to benefit from positive, low carbon investments.

"We are reducing the risk and cost of raising capital, creating a meaningful return for developers and investors, whilst building stakeholders in renewables crucial to support projects through planning and beyond."

Investments in projects can start from as little as £5 ($7.80), added Harder, with the intention being to give anybody who is interested in clean energy the opportunity to have their say.

Further facets to the Abundance platform that may interest both parties include the project pledging application, which enables developers to build a community of supporters before working with them throughout the planning process in order to increase a project’s chances of becoming successful.

The platform works via the purchase of Debentures, which act as official IOUs that commit to pay returns on top of the original capital outlay. Abundance – which has been active since 2011 and has developed more than £8 million ($12.5 million) in clean energy projects – states that returns are likely to be paid biannually for the duration of the project’s lifetime.

Investors wishing to cash in early can do so via the Abundance website.

Last month, Abundance also launched a community platform for a Scottish rooftop PV scheme, with the aim to add 749 PV systems to rooftops across a Scottish housing association.