A boost to windfarms

Working together, you can do more. A great example is a new fund, Energy Prospects, launched by our member Energy4All – an invitation and an opportunity to invest in low-carbon, cooperative energy.

Last week I was learning about the Fens Co-op, which runs local wind turbines after raising £2.66 million from local people. What holds back windfarms, famously, is public opposition and the planning system. A co-operative approach brings the community on board, but the planning system still defeats three out of five proposals, perhaps more.You can’t raise money to do the early work when the odds are stacked against you like that, even if it all pays off if you get permission.

The new fund, as I understand it, aims to overcome that by pooling the risk of planning blight, so that those who do succeed can pay for the pre-planning costs of those that who are starting fresh. Still risky, no doubt, but now less of a risk. Nice thinking.

The share offer closes on May 26th 2010.

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