Last week, a share issue was launched by a Scottish Wind-farm Co-operative to fund wind projects in South Lanarkshire. This share issue indicates not only the extraordinarily competitive returns that renewable energy developments can bring but also the status of South Lanarkshire as one of the best regions in the United Kingdom for onshore wind developments.
The Spirit of Lanarkshire Wind Co-operative launched it’s share issue last week, aiming to raise up to £2.7 million for two wind farm developments in the area. If the share issue is over-subscribed priority will be given to South Lanarkshire residents. Within it’s first week it has raised £132,000. According to the chairman of the co-operative a respectable annual rate of return of 8.5% is expected.
Tom Robinson, an investor in previous share issues, commented:
“It has worked out excellent. There was one year when we only got 7.6%, but then you look at an ISA paying 0.1%. One year it was 10.6%.”
Similarly, last month an Australian renewable energy firm launched a four year ‘mini bond’, offering a fixed rate of return of 7.5%, intended to finance both solar and onshore wind projects within the UK. The frequent occurrence of such share issues illustrates the profits that can be made from renewable energy development. However, it should be remembered both that these are not risk free investments nor are they the only investments which one can make in this field.
Bonds purchased in such share issues cannot be traded on the UK stock market. Nor are they covered by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme; leaving the investor open to risk in the event of such developments not proceeding as planned. Finally, in the case of the Co-operative share issue, investors will not be paid back until after 25 years i.e. the life span of a wind farm. For many people in South Lanarkshire and elsewhere (particularly land owners) smaller scale developments may prove to be more suitable.
Such developments, do however, confirm South Lanarkshire as one of the United Kingdom’s best regions for onshore wind developments. High wind speeds, tracts of rural land, an informed public and local authority all add up to a prime renewable region.
We at Intelligent Land Investments (Renewable Energy) offer our landowners an extremely competitive rate of return with the enhanced attractiveness that we require no monetary investment from them. All development costs are met by us. This, combined with the fact that small or medium scale turbine developments are far quicker to progress through planning than full scale wind farm development, means that a landowner may be able to make more money more quickly from only one or two turbines than from a wind farm and not just in South Lanarkshire but across all of Scotland.