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Bristol Energy Cooperative Bond Offer July 2017


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Bristol Energy Cooperative (BEC) launches a new crowdfund to continue its journey to become a major generator of community-owned clean energy.

The crowdfund target of £1,150,000 will enable BEC to repay previous loans and invest in new micro-renewable generation and storage schemes. These include a 100kW Tesla battery storage project at a new sustainable housing site.

This bond offer builds on the popularity of BEC’s energy schemes where surplus profits are reinvested into the community. BEC has a proven track record of funding and developing renewables, including raising the ambitious sum of £10m last year.

Find out more in Director Andy O'Brien's presentation detailing BEC's plans for the future.

Published in: Environment
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Bristol Energy Cooperative Bond Offer July 2017

  1. 1. Bristol Energy Cooperative – where we came from, and where we’re going Andy O’Brien Co-director Bristol Energy Cooperative 5 July 2017
  2. 2. Who we are • Established in 2011, by people from a number of community energy groups in the city. • “Investing in renewables, cutting carbon, building community.” • Raised £10 million in 2015-16 for community solar projects. • 9MWp of solar PV under community ownership.
  3. 3. Share Offer One – Solar PV, 2012 • £125,000 raised from 160 investors. • Solar rooftop installations at: Knowle West Media Centre Hamilton House Easton Community Centre. • Occupants benefit from long-term supply of subsidised green energy. • BEC receives the Feed-in Tariff payments. • 4% return to investors • Met our projected generation targets over the 4 years of operation.
  4. 4. Solar Share Offer Two, 2014 • £120,000 raised • More community solar installations at: - Bristol Folk House - Empire Fighting Chance - South Bristol Sports Centre • 5% interest payment to all members in 2015 and 2016. First payment into a community fund.
  5. 5. We own two solar farms: one in Lawrence Weston, Bristol and the other in Puriton, Somerset.
  6. 6. We also have solar PV on 11 community buildings:
  7. 7. BEC’s solar portfolio currently generates 9,105 MWh (Megawatt Hours) of electricity per year - enough to power 2,220 typical UK homes. Rooftop solar sites: 214 MWh Solar Farm – Somerset: 4,572 MWh Solar Farm – Lawrence Weston: 4,319 MWh
  8. 8. We’ve raised over £11 million for our projects so far. This has come from a combination of: - public crowd-funding (£4 million) - commercial loans, and loans from social funders. We have 550 investor members (shareholders) and 800+ investors in total (shares/bonds). We’ve also facilitated over £200,000 of community benefit payments to the local community. - £155,000 to Ambition Lawrence Weston - £50,000 to a regional community fund
  9. 9. Further projects currently under development are: - more solar (rooftop and ground-mount) - battery storage - community microgrids - energy efficiency - hydro
  10. 10. Our latest bond offer: • 3 year unsecured bond paying target returns of 4.5% per annum • IF ISA eligible • Target of £1,150,000 - no minimum • Minimum investment £100, maximum £100,000 • Close date 31 July 2017
  11. 11. As well as doing renewable energy installations, we also promote zero carbon scenarios, and showcase the awesome progress being made on this across the world.
  12. 12. Detailed research concludes that:
  13. 13. • We can get to zero carbon by 2030 using a combination of existing renewable energy technologies and energy efficiency • And cope with scenarios like the sun not shining and the wind not blowing • Without using fossil-fuels and nuclear.
  14. 14. Our energy future – a choice
  15. 15. We need smart, speedy, nimble energy projects • Proper, large-scale energy efficiency • Rapid, large-scale roll-out of solar, wind, hydro, small biomass, anaerobic digestion, district heat… • Energy storage • Smart grids • Demand side management
  16. 16. It’s now and it’s awesome!
  17. 17.
  18. 18. On 26 May 2017 the nation’s solar panels generated 8.7GW of power, more than nuclear and coal power combined. Solar power was the second most used generating technology behind gas-fired power and made up around 25% of the UK’s electricity. The UK now has 13 GW of solar power in place, the same production capacity as eight new-generation nuclear reactors.
  19. 19. England’s renewable energy capacity Not so long ago, we got our power from 50 large power stations. Now there are over 900,000 renewable energy installations, with 24GW installed in the last 6 years.
  20. 20. Solar’s awesome stats Recommended reading: The Switch, by Chris Goodall. Key points: • Solar is simply becoming by far the cheapest energy technology. Costs are dropping at a huge rate, following the “experience curve” seen in semi-conductor/hard-disk industries, genome-sequencing, and other sectors. For solar there’s a continuing 20% cost reduction for each doubling of production. • There’s a huge solar resource. 90,000 TW of solar energy hits the planet’s surface on average across the year. The world’s total running energy demand currently averages 15- 17 TW at any one time.
  21. 21. Solar’s awesome stats • Energy demand in the richest countries is flat, but future population growth has to be factored in, so author uses a conservative estimate of 30TW against which to test whether renewables could meet this need. • He concludes they can, with cheap solar providing the backbone of this, and used in combination with energy storage (with battery storage now going through similar cost curve reductions to solar). • Excess electricity can be converted into hydrogen through electrolysis, with further conversion to methane and liquid fuels possible / being developed. • Demand response, smart grids and energy efficiency also part of the mix.
  22. 22. Solar’s awesome stats • In many parts of the world, these combinations may meet all the local energy needs. In other parts of the world, including the UK, other technologies will also be needed - wind, biomass, hydro, etc. • Further solar panel efficiency improvements and new PV technologies will bring the costs down still further. • In contrast, the costs of other energy types are rising, as they are no longer the backbone of the energy system. Their infrastructure costs remain whilst their income reduces due to reduced sales.
  23. 23. BEC is also nurturing a collaborative project to accelerate the transition to a low carbon society in the Greater Bristol region.
  24. 24. Bringing together renewables developers, community groups, the 4 WoE local authorities, finance people, lawyers, IT specialists, the education sector, PR companies, and others… … to work faster, in a more joined-up way, do larger- scale projects, and enthuse the public to get involved.
  25. 25. Positive response so far to this collaboration Exact name and structure still being finalised, and being careful not to re-invent wheels. In the meantime now have sub-groups going for technical project development, data, finance, and public engagement.
  26. 26. Questions? Andy O’Brien 07503 372 689