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Green & Ethical Investment News and Suggestions

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Martyn1981Martyn1981 Forumite
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This is a subject that crops up occasionally on multiple threads, so I thought it might be useful to have a thread where we can share both news and also investment ideas that we find. I've noticed that many schemes are as financially attractive as other general investments, so there's no penalty in targeting your monies towards renewables, energy conservation etc, if you so wish, rather than just letting it sit there in 'normal' savings accounts, bonds, unit trusts etc..

For example, some years ago Good Energy issued bonds to finance an expansion of their RE generation, in order to meet the demands of a growing customer base. They issued 5yr bonds, with a fixed annual return, then the capital was returned at the end of that period.

Hopefully as and when we notice such schemes, ideas, etc, we can share them so that others who might want to take part, can.

BUT please be careful to note that any news, or notification of new investments is purely to inform everyone of their existence, not to promote them. Often these investments carry high risks both with regard to the actual returns, and the return of the capital, since they are based on the success of the schemes, such as the actual generation of a RE deployment.

Also, if anyone is mentioning a product which might itself benefit from increased interest, then that poster(s) should declare their interest. For instance, to help support the advancement of BEV's (and as a financial investment) I've purchased shares in both Tesla and Arcimoto. Both of these are high risk, with volatile share prices, but by mentioning them, I need to mention my participation too, for obvious reasons.

On a more preachy note, there is also another way that folk can influence both RE and FF's without directly investing, and that's in choosing your bank account, savings, unit trust funds etc. carefully to take into account what the bank's, investment company's etc. policy is towards support for RE / FF's. By moving monies away from financial institutions that finance FF's, and towards those that don't, or specifically focus on green and ethical investments, we can actually, as a whole, make a difference, as the availability (or lack) of finance can encourage/discourage developments.

I hope this thread makes sense, is of interest, and will be useful. Please have fun, and post away news and findings for all to enjoy and share.

Mart. Cardiff. 5.58 kWp PV systems (3.58 ESE & 2.0 WNW)

For general PV advice please see the PV FAQ thread on the Green & Ethical Board.
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Replies

  • Martyn1981Martyn1981 Forumite
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    To start us off, and purely as an example, I've invested in many renewable energy schemes through Abundance - solar, hydro, wind, energy efficiency, insulation etc..

    Again, not a recommendation, just notification, though at this point in time they don't have any new schemes open for investment, this post is just to give an example.
    Mart. Cardiff. 5.58 kWp PV systems (3.58 ESE & 2.0 WNW)

    For general PV advice please see the PV FAQ thread on the Green & Ethical Board.
  • edited 9 April at 6:03PM
    CoastalwatchCoastalwatch Forumite
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    edited 9 April at 6:03PM
    Great idea Mart I wish we'd known of Abundance years ago as I'd taken to trawling the stockmarket for suitable renewable projects to support/invest in. It's not that we're entirely benevolent either, as the returns are at least equal and generally better than those offered by our Building Society.
    In seeking other renewable schemes to support we've also come across Energy4All who assist in the promotion and raising of funds for Community Energy projects for the benefit of local communities. They're currently seeking fundraising for a couple of Hydro schemes in Scotland which is being promoted through Ethex, another fundraising platform.
    In seeking to support underwater turbines we came across Seedrs platform which offer a multitude of various start ups, a bit like Dragons Den I guess. Nova Innovations, the under water turbine manufacturer and Cheeky Panda who produce tissue paper products in a sustainable manner from bamboo attracted our attention on there.
    I thought retirement was going to be about taking long holidays and cruises around the world to various exotic locations. Knowing now how damaging they can be we're having great fun seeking out clean and sustainable projects to support instead.
    I can only liken it to my mispent youth when spending tea breaks scouring the racing pages to seek out the best runners for the afternoons race meetings.
    Unlike then and while there's still an element of risk we've yet to have one not show a return!
    Heaven forbid, does wisdom really come with age. :*

    East coast, lat 51.97. 8.26kw SSE, 23° pitch + 0.59kw WSW vertical. Nissan Leaf plus one dirty diesel. Still waiting for V2H and home storage to become available at sensible cost.
  • silverwhistlesilverwhistle Forumite
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     cruises around the world to various exotic locations. Knowing now how damaging they can be
    ..to your health! they've never appealed to me. Wouldn't mind cruising places in a comfortable 36 footer, which enables you to see all the crinkly bits of a coastline, but a floating petri dish with lots of different diseases is another matter.
    I must have a look on those platforms you mention. I'll have to see what I've got left after repairs to the house and I do so want an EV.. Could I make do with an electric bicycle? Hmm.


  • edited 27 April at 7:31PM
    CoastalwatchCoastalwatch Forumite
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    edited 27 April at 7:31PM

    "Green" Investment opportunity?

    With the cleaner air prevalent these days following the furloughing of so many FF burning vehicles, be it on land, sea or air and businesses having to adapt to staff working from home, then naturally the phrase working Smarter not Harder has never been more relevant.
    A software package has been created for such occasions to enhance the outcomes of video conferencing. It was launched last year and is now seeking funding to enhance the product further going forward.
    This is not a recommendation but it attracted my attention simply because I can see the advantages of attending such events from ones own home rather than needing to travel great distances to take part.
    Anyway the Seedrs platform are managing the placement(if that's the correct term) which was 92% funded when I came across it earlier this afternoon!
    East coast, lat 51.97. 8.26kw SSE, 23° pitch + 0.59kw WSW vertical. Nissan Leaf plus one dirty diesel. Still waiting for V2H and home storage to become available at sensible cost.
  • Martyn1981Martyn1981 Forumite
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    Not a recommendation, but just to let anyone interested know that Abundance will soon be launching a new investment. 

    West Berkshire Council gives the green light to the UK’s first Community Municipal Investment

    On 30th April, West Berkshire Council voted to issue the UK’s first Community Municipal Investment (CMI). The council will be offering residents, community groups and businesses an opportunity to invest directly with them to help build a greener future for the district.

    Mart. Cardiff. 5.58 kWp PV systems (3.58 ESE & 2.0 WNW)

    For general PV advice please see the PV FAQ thread on the Green & Ethical Board.
  • CoastalwatchCoastalwatch Forumite
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    Just sharing my experiences!

    Three years ago, prior to finding MSE and with savings interest rates around 1.5% we took a deep breath before transferring some of our funds into a Stocks and Shares ISA each for the very first time. Being advised that it may of course go down as well as up, but generally over a six year period it should generate a greater return than the best savings accounts available!
    Twelve months in and with MSE forums help we'd had solar panels installed and were looking to purchase an EV to replace our otherwise trusty but dirty diesel. By this time we were doing all we could to reduce our FF reliance to a minimum and I wondered where else we might be able to make a difference. The S & S ISA ! The thought of our funds being invested in FF's, Nuclear or gambling etc now caused concern and which couldn't be resolved by those responsible for managing it!
    I began searching for any renewable energy projects in which to transfer the funds from the ISA into. It's a bit scary, as not being involved in such affairs other than a scheme to purchase company shares whilst employed, was a daunting prospect. The best advice I received came from an investment service provider who suggested any area you have knowledge of and/or interest in!
    I was pretty convinced by this time that renewable energy had a bright future and I wanted to encourage anything to do with it in my own small way. Eventually I came across a placement raising funds for a variety of Battery storage  projects by a Gresham House Energy Storage Fund. This was it I decided and took the plunge. That was eighteen months ago.
    Since then of course we've suffered the biggest fall in the history of the Stockmarket resutling in a fall of 33% in share values.
    So, our ISA which had finally just shown a marginal gain beyond bank interest rates is now back to being 92% of the original sum invested. There is no annual dividend with these, being simply reliant on their increased value over time.
    As for the Storage Fund, the one pound shares did reach 109.0p, before dropping back to 88p worst case. They have now recovered to 99p, plus they paid a first annual dividend of 4.5% with an anticipated 7% annually thereafter. A Share price return since IPO of 11% was shown at the end of the first year operation with the intention of increasing storage facilities during 2020, taking capacity to 364MW, or around 30% of total market share. Beginners luck there I guess!
    Thankfully since then Abundance has been pointed out to me who are mostly involved in loans to companys of an ethical and sustainable nature. These together with the newly announced Community Municipal Investment programme are a much safer haven than the vagaries of the stock market while all the time supporting renewables in it's many forms.
    I can't wait for announcements of further projects coming forward so I can transfer the remainder of my S&S ISA into Community programmes so removing any likelyhood of them doing harm in areas where I have no control.
    Sad maybe, but I've discovered a new purpose in life just putting our money into Good causes


    East coast, lat 51.97. 8.26kw SSE, 23° pitch + 0.59kw WSW vertical. Nissan Leaf plus one dirty diesel. Still waiting for V2H and home storage to become available at sensible cost.
  • Martyn1981Martyn1981 Forumite
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    Couldn't agree more about investing in areas/companies you have an interest in, and it helps push/nudge that area a tiny bit too.
    Been fun(ny) watching Jim Cramer on CNBC the last year. He knocked Tesla for years, but then did an episode where he said 'he'd given up, he couldn't fight anymore' and started to support them. He explained that his wife and daughters had worn him down, they kept going on about how good the cars are, and then he drove one and started to 'get it'. Basically, he was obsessed by the financials (which makes sense, especially for older, mature companies) but wasn't seeing the difference between ICEV's and BEV's nor the disruption opportunity. Lately he's been describing FF investments as 'the new tobacco' and recommending folk move away. When someone like him starts to 'switch sides' you know that change is in the air.
    Mart. Cardiff. 5.58 kWp PV systems (3.58 ESE & 2.0 WNW)

    For general PV advice please see the PV FAQ thread on the Green & Ethical Board.
  • CoastalwatchCoastalwatch Forumite
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    So, our ISA which had finally just shown a marginal gain beyond bank interest rates is now back to being 92% of the original sum invested.
    As for the Storage Fund, the one pound shares did reach 109.0p, before dropping back to 88p worst case. They have now recovered to 99p,
    Two days later and the ISA has dropped from 92% to 90% of original while the Energy Storage fund is back to par, £1 or 100%.
    So for the time being I make that Energy Storage Fund 1 - 0  ISA or, a win for clean energy sustainability over a worldwide mix of more traditional investments.
    In percentage terms it will be interesting to see how long it takes the ISA to reach parity and/or catch up and pass ESF.
    I'm hoping not another six years!

    East coast, lat 51.97. 8.26kw SSE, 23° pitch + 0.59kw WSW vertical. Nissan Leaf plus one dirty diesel. Still waiting for V2H and home storage to become available at sensible cost.
  • michaelsmichaels Forumite
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    I guess what worries me is trying to avoid the dodgy self-storage/multi-storey car park type schemes that promise a high return but of course end up going bankrupt with their investors money.  Anything small and new there is plenty of room for cowboys.  Does Abundance pool risk across lots of projects?
    I think....
  • Martyn1981Martyn1981 Forumite
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    On Abundance each investment is a stand alone, but by spreading risk (I'm in 29 schemes) you can pool risk yourself. Also I tend to be heavier in schemes that have more fixed returns, or are now established technologies like wind and sun, which will only vary a bit each year. The more experimental ones I support, I try to stay light, thereby adding support, but not betting the farm.

    Some commonsense may need to be applied, for instance adding PV to a building should have costs and returns within known boundaries these days, whereas as a project to build co-gen, or add/change insulation to a number of properties may encounter 'surprises'.

    On a slightly different note, I've also put the odd small amount into some crowd funding schemes. One I bottled was for a domestic battery idea in the States, involving cheaper flow batts. The minimum contribution was $500, and whilst I wanted to give them a bit of support, just to help push another battery type, I considered this lost money, and thought the amount was too high, perhaps $20-$50, but not $500.

    So you can, to a degree, consolidate risk by making multiple investments, and applying commonsense to the amounts based on the risk.
    Mart. Cardiff. 5.58 kWp PV systems (3.58 ESE & 2.0 WNW)

    For general PV advice please see the PV FAQ thread on the Green & Ethical Board.
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