Last chance saloon for wind returns?

Written by Lisa Stanley Mann on 8th February 2018

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Noticed something about the countryside lately?

As a result of the withdrawal of subsidies a couple of years ago, one thing you won’t see more of along the horizon is a load of new wind turbines.

A crying shame or a victory, depending on your point of view.

But despite the lack of new development, existing onshore wind turbines keep turning – and remain a profitable prospect for investors.

Despite the government withdrawing support, and investment in renewables has fallen more in the UK than any other country – community-owned wind still offers a sound investment opportunity.

The UK government has done its best to kill off onshore wind, including projects which are supported by their local communities.

Jeremy Thorp, YnNi Teg

Welsh community wind society YnNi Teg (Welsh for Fair Energy Ltd) is offering a chance for ordinary people to invest in a 900kW wind turbine in Carmarthenshire, targeting an average annual rate of return of 5 per cent over 20 years. The community share offer to raise £1.8 million is one of the last wind projects to be underpinned by the government’s Feed-in Tariff.

With a minimum investment of just £100, and a maximum of £100,000 the project offers a good chance to access diminishing opportunities in the onshore wind sector.

The power generated is currently being sold to ethical power supplier Bristol Energy. Unlike many other community energy investments, YnNi Teg does not need to raise a minimum amount within a set time frame, so all investments made will be converted into shares up to the maximum of £1.8 million – the larger the investment raised through the share offer, the more funds will be made available for further community energy projects.

The turbine is generating enough renewable electricity to power the equivalent of 650 typical homes. As well as offering a return to shareholders, a community benefit fund is being set up totalling over £50,000. Surplus revenues will go to Community Energy Wales, a Social Enterprise that helps and supports community groups across Wales to get community-owned renewable energy projects off the ground.

Jeremy Thorp, Director, YnNi Teg, said: “The UK government has done its best to kill off onshore wind, including fantastic projects like this which are supported by their local communities. We want to get the message out that ordinary people can still invest in wind power – one of the lowest-cost and most efficient renewable technologies in the UK – and benefit from a triple-bottom-line return: making a difference to climate change, a fair average annual return of 5 per cent and generating additional funds to support similar future community energy projects.”

Chris Blake, Chair, Community Energy Wales, added: “Community energy is incredibly important, to enable communities to take ownership and responsibility for generating their own clean renewable energy. This turbine generates a lot of power, enough for over 600 homes, but also will help us in Community Energy Wales to inspire other projects across Wales to replicate and exceed this, literally putting power back at the core of our communities.”

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