EVERYDAY PEOPLE can now invest in renewable energy projects, thanks to democratic finance platform Abundance Generation, the fastest growing crowd funding site to date.
Five pounds – that’s the minimum investment. Investors can gradually build up an investment portfolio. For perhaps the first time, people who aren’t extremely wealthy can invest in assets.
The average payback is 8% and the investment term is twenty years. Investors don’t have to put all their eggs in one basket – in fact it’s discouraged. Abundance currently has one wind turbine in the Forest of Dean that generates power for its locality, and another is in construction, and already half paid for. Another four are in planning. It’s fundamental: things can go wrong, so invest in more than one thing.
Bruce Davis, the anthropologist co-founder of Abundance, explains risk this way: “When we talk about ‘risk’ what we actually mean is ‘uncertainty’… I would say that risk is a good thing because it’s what you get once you’ve quantified uncertainty… Actually what you need is a mix of risks. We’ve lost the ability to think about risk in terms of managing uncertainty.”
viaThe Eco Experts.
And, in time for Christmas, Abundance has introduced gifting: making an investment on behalf of someone else. The press release excerpt goes like this: “For children and grandchildren, with the ability they will have to monitor the wind turbine and the energy and profits it is producing through our revolutionary website, what a great way to learn about investing as well as green energy production. And whoever you treat with this new idea, how cool is it that it will still be paying them an average of 8% return for another 20 years?”
In 2012, the major energy companies hiked their prices by varying amounts, and have announced they will be doing the same again in January. Energy independence is valuable to people who cannot afford, or bear, being held ransom by big companies. While energy companies control our light and heat, banking institutions have power over our finances.
Taking responsibility for your money is doing right by yourself. Abundance has chosen an approach that combines personal finance and civics: it rewards individuals for being enterprising with generous rate of payback, and benefits communities at the same time. With the renewable energy industry experiencing turmoil in the wake of government policy errors, here is an online platform that bypasses upper bureaucracy and does it all itself. It’s very refreshing.
Thanks to Bruce for the interview. For more information I recommend checking out the Abundance Generation website: www.abundancegeneration.com
About the author:
David Thomas writes about cleantech, government policy and energy efficiency for The Eco Experts. You can speak to him @theecoexperts