Energy  |  Successes  |  11.06.2012

Abundance: democratic finance for renewable energy projects in the UK

Abundance is the first investment platform in the UK that allows people to invest for their long term future from as little as £5. It started with a simple idea: to link up communities and individuals with renewable energy projects and make it possible for them to share in the benefits of energy production directly. It aims at democratising finance while supporting the UK’s renewable energy market. 

It is as simple as choosing a renewable energy project selected and audited by Abundance’s financial team and investing from as little as £5. You just need to have a UK bank account and to be over 18.

When buying a debenture, a type of bond more often issued by big companies to borrow money, the project developer you invested in is committed to paying you a regular cash sum which is the share of the money it makes from generating and selling electricity. According to Abundance’s executive director Bruce Davis, investors can expect an average return on their debenture of between seven and eight per cent over the lifetime of the investment. Yet he points out that the attractiveness of such an investment is more to see “where their return is coming from” than high return rates. 

Lead investors are the charities Nesta and Panaphur. Abundance is officially authorised and regulated by the UK Financial Services Authority.

Of course as all financial investments, Abundance investments include risks. The main risk appears in case something goes wrong or if the project fails during the life of the debenture. You might not get back all or any of your original investment. Such case actually already appeared with regards to Abundance. Indeed the first investment call launched by Abundance has been recently shelved, since the chosen wind turbine supplier has declared itself bankrupt. Yet Bruce Davis declared that the £125,000, which the project had raised in just less than a week, had now been offered back to customers. 

Besides, renewable energy projects need long-term financing. Therefore debentures can be fully paid back only in 20 to 25 years. An estimator tool is available on Abundance’s website to calculate how much you could earn depending on the number of debentures you buy. 

Two projects are almost ready to be launched for investment. They both are wind turbine joint ventures with the UK consultancy group in environment and renewable energy – the Resilience Centre. One is located in Alvington, Lydney, in partnership with the owners of Alvington Court Farm. The other one is closed to Chepstow, in partnership with the owner of Severndale Farm, an organic dairy farmer. As with all Resilient Energy partnership projects, they aim at providing a local community donation of £15-20k per year of operation. You can find more about these projects on the map provided on Abundance’s website.

To know more about this initiative and even invest in UK Renewable Energy projects, you can visit their website and watch this short presentation video. 

Back to Overview