Solar projects raise record £7.8 million in month as Treasury removes EIS tax relief for clean-energy investments
A record £7.821 million has been invested in community energy solar projects by the British public in the month following the Treasury’s removal of Enterprise Investment Scheme tax relief on community energy projects.
A total of 15 community benefit societies (bencoms) running solar projects across the UK have announced their fundraising totals, with four funds securing investments of over £1 million for their share offers.
With £4.806 million, funds run in association with community energy investment firm Mongoose Energy made up 61% of all funds raised for solar community energy projects and its five funds were all in the top six.
Topping the list of bencoms were Sussex’s Meadow Blue and Bath and West, which respectively raised £1.248 and £1.243 million. Nottinghamshire Community Energy followed closely behind with £1.171 million. Edinburgh Community Energy, with £1 million, completes the top four.
Jan Willem Bode of Mongoose Energy, which worked with Meadow Blue, Bath and West, and Nottinghamshire said the exceptional rate of investment in community renewable projects shows there is wide-scale support for community energy to be a significant player in the industry in the UK.
“With it happening within a week of the announced plan to shut coal-fired stations, I think we will look back at this moment and realise this is the beginning of truly locally owned, low carbon power.
”While the removal of EIS is an odd blow for George Osborne to land on the same day as the UN Climate Change Conference, it has helped to raise awareness and interest in these opportunities and these investment figures shows that people want to invest in ethical, local energy sources.”
Jamie Hartzell, chair of ethical investment platform, Ethex, said: “We are really pleased to see the huge groundswell of support for community energy schemes over recent weeks. Over a third of the total investment raised – £4.8million – was in to the six share offers listed on Ethex.”