Financing renewables projects
How to pay for the various stages of your project will always be a key question. The good news is that there are lots of options but this does mean that it is worth planning in advance to decide what is going to work best for your type of project and technology.
If you are planning to tackle a renewable energy project the Project Finance module of the Community Renewables Toolkit will walk you through the options. It covers:
- Overview: funding each stage of development
- Steps to obtaining project finance:
- Early stage finance
- Assessing financial viability
- Project finance options
- Financial close obtaining project finance
- The basics of finance
Another useful source of information is Pure Leapfrog's investment readiness guide which will help you think through the other things you need to have in place to be seen as 'investable': the finance ready guide can be downloaded here.
If you want to seek investment you will need to put together a compelling business plan for investors. Our guide to creating such a plan can be downloaded here.
To see projects which currently have share offers available click here.
A key source of current finance is the Rural Community Energy Fund (Relaunched during the Community Energy Fortnight 2019). The fund is currently open for applications. In its new format, community energy organisations can apply for grants of up to £40,000 to assess the feasibility of community-led renewable energy projects. Follow on grants of up to £100,000 are available to support the more ambitious projects gain planning consent and get them ready to attract investment.The deadline for the first round is 23rd August, further rounds will be run quarterly with the next one in November. The fund is being administered by the Local Energy Teams on behalf of BEIS and DEFRA. The Energy Hub is a new BEIS funded team whose role is to work with local authorities, LEPs and community energy groups to accelerate the delivery of local energy schemes. To register your interest and to receive an application pack please email your local energy hub. You can find that information here: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/rural-community-energy-fund
Other more general sources of finance are available on the Community Energy England website.
The SCO-RES website provides information for developers and communities on shared ownership schemes. Guides are available for engaging with local communities during the development of a project alongside information on strategy, protocol and policy relating to this area.
For inspiration from abroad, there are series of case studies from Denmark, Germany and the UK on cost and financing aspects of community renewable energy projects.