Ecotricity’s green bond raises £12m in one month

Green energy supplier Ecotricity's latest foray in the UK renewable energy market has led to more than £12m of applications for its fourth corporate mini-bond ahead of tomorrow's (30 November) deadline.

The fourth iteration of Ecobonds, launched at the end of October, are held for five-year terms and are automatically extended by a further year. Ecobond four enables customers and the wider public to invest directly in the firm’s work, and boosts the £38m already raised since the initiative was first rolled-out in 2010.

Ecotricity founder Dale Vince said: “When we launched ecobond one, it was a pretty radical idea, with a simple ambition: to give people the opportunity to share in the financial benefits of the Green Energy revolution.

“We’ve made great progress over the last twelve months – we’re supplying Green Energy to over 190,000 customers, we’ve finished four new wind parks, and we’ve just got approval to build our first Green Gas mill, the first of its kind in Britain.

“And now, to continue our momentum, we’ve launched ecobond four – which will give customers and the wider public the chance to share the benefits of the next phase of our work.” 

Ecobond four offers a five-year initial maturity term and is open to UK-based individuals, companies, trusts, charities and other legal entities which are required to offer a minimum £500 investment. Ecotricity customers will be offered a return of 5% gross per annum, with a rate of 4.5% for all other investors. Applications for the ecobond must be submitted by 5pm tomorrow.

While Ecotricity could not provide specifics of the investment, the firm has overseen several projects in recent months, including an on-site NHS wind turbine and “hybrid” wind parks. Earlier this year, the company gained planning permission to create some of the first hybrid energy parks in Britain, by combining current wind farms with two new “sun parks” in Devon and Leicestershire respectively.

The company recently agreed a deal to purchase 3.1 million additional shares in rival renewable energy supplier Good Energy, increasing its stake in the company from 5.58% to 24.85%.

Sustainable solutions

Green bonds have become a popular method to boost renewable energy project uptake in recent times. Last Thursday, for example, France’s largest bank BNP Paribas announced the launch of its first green bond. The net proceeds of the €500m issuance, which attracted strong demands from investors, will be allocated to the financing and/or refinancing of green assets in renewable energy, energy efficiency, green transportation, water management and recycling.

BNP Paribas deputy chief operating officer Michel Konczaty said at the time: “The launch of our inaugural green bond amplifies our commitment to sustainability and to supporting projects which have a positive impact. We look forward to working together in continuing to deliver market-based sustainable solutions which help us and our clients meet social and environmental challenges.”

Earlier this month, the UK’s first green energy Individual Savings Account (ISA) received £1m of investment in its first week, with the expenditure set to fund a new community solar farm in Swindon.

Moody’s Investors Service recently found that global green bonds volume reached another peak during the three months ending in September, with the strongest quarterly issuance yet of £20.1bn, while the amount for all of 2016 could rise to around $64bn.

George Ogleby

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