United Kingdom

United Kingdom

Keen investors in UK small scale projects

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Two recent fund raisings have proved that wind energy is attractive for small scale investors in the UK. Ventus, a venture capital trust (VCT) focused on small scale wind projects, has closed its first offer after raising £15 million. Charles Conner of Ventus' fund manager Climate Change Advisory says that despite the high competition in the VCT sector, the offer was the most successful of all the specialist funds during the last tax year. It was also the largest sum raised from UK retail investors for renewable energy. "It hit a chord for many people," he says. But this was more for its being a sound investment than for the environmental benefits, he believes. People liked the economics of a long term framework for power purchases, he says, referring to the agreement Ventus has with wholesale renewable energy company Geotrupes for purchases of power in which the VCT invests. "Now we are trying to get our first investments in place," says Conner. Ventus plans to invest in primarily small wind projects of up to 12 MW. A further offering could be made in this financial year to take advantage of the current 40% tax relief on VCT investments.

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