Orkney’s encouraging crowdfunding renewables development as Brexit looms


It’s clear that Brexit could lead to the loss of development funding in several areas, but tidal energy research seems particularly vulnerable at this early stage. See this for more detail:


So, this news is especially encouraging:

Peer-to-peer ethical investment company Abundance has closed its largest fundraising to date with £7 million for Scottish tidal energy company Orbital Marine Power, based in Orkney. Orbital Marine Power, formerly Scotrenewables Tidal Power, will use the funds raised to build its first production model Orbital O2 2MW turbine. The project has secured a number of supporting grants as well as equity funding, including from the Scottish Government. The Abundance offer of 2.5-year debentures with an annual return of 12% attracted 2,278 individual investors, with over half investing via an Innovative Finance ISA for a tax-free return. The average investment was approximately £3,000, with the project attracting particularly strong interest from investors in Scotland who put in 50% more on average, at £4,500.’


The notion of 2 278 investors, many presumably quite small-scale, seems quite heart-warming. Am I starting to find this face in capitalism attractive?



7 thoughts on “Orkney’s encouraging crowdfunding renewables development as Brexit looms

  1. Contrary January 11, 2019 / 11:12 am

    Can you explain what Crowdfunding means in this context? I am not sure it is how I understand crowdfunding – surely these people are investors? They will get something back (potentially) for their money?


    • johnrobertson834 January 11, 2019 / 4:07 pm

      Good point. They used the term. Maybe it precedes the charitable form?


  2. Alasdair Macdonald January 11, 2019 / 3:59 pm

    I have invested in a couple of such schemes and they pay a reasonable dividend (c5%). Some you can invest in directly and others you can invest via ethical companies like Triodos Bank or Ethex. There are maximum amounts (e.g £1000) that any individual can invest so that the dominant shareholder is avoided.

    Often the schemes are run by local cooperatives.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Contrary January 11, 2019 / 9:39 pm

      Hum. So, it’s limited investment – is the term ‘crowdfunding’ not really what we understand it to mean now (raising funds,,, via a crowd of people, fair enough, but we usually consider it charitable).

      The CEO was on the radio this morning and repeatedly used ‘crowdfunding’ and said how grateful he was for all contributions,,, to the extent I thought it was, bizarrely, charitable. But I guess it’s hard to find any funding on a new venture, so that makes sense to me now.


  3. Ludo Thierry January 11, 2019 / 4:47 pm

    I believe the technical financial term for this type of crowdfunding might sometimes be ‘a debenture’? Not hugely up on my financial/investment lexicon I’m afraid to say.


    • Contrary January 11, 2019 / 9:32 pm

      Jeez, you know some amount of fancy words Ludo, not sure it helps my understanding mind you!


  4. Ludo Thierry January 11, 2019 / 5:44 pm

    Further to John’s excellent news about Orbital Marine Power’s successful funding venture to commence constructing their commercial scale tidal energy turbine (interestingly using a novel concept of suspending the turbine from a floating structure rather than attaching to the sea-bed) we have a good report from beeb Scotland concerning another completed (major) link in the ever expanding Scottish electricity transmission network – see link and snippets below:


    Work has been completed on a £1bn subsea electricity link between Caithness and Moray.

    The cable will allow renewable energy generated in the far north to be sent to areas of dense population in central Scotland.

    The 100-mile-long cable is capable of carrying enough electricity to power three million homes.

    Project leader SSE says it is the biggest single investment in the north of Scotland network since the 1950s.

    The link uses a high voltage direct current to transmit power beneath the Moray Firth to a substation at Blackhillock near Keith.

    Covering an area the size of 24 football pitches, it is the largest substation in the UK.

    Project leader Dave Gardner said: “The successful energisation and commissioning of the Caithness-Moray link, on time and within budget, is a significant achievement for SSEN and everyone involved in the project.

    “It will support deployment of renewable energy in the north of Scotland and beyond for many years to come.

    The link is regarded as an important tool in tapping into Scotland’s abundance of renewable energy sources.

    It is connected to the Beatrice offshore wind farm and the Doreness onshore farm in Caithness.

    More sites in Caithness and Ross-shire are due to be connected in the next few months.

    Another piece neatly fitted into the mosaic needed for a quick, smooth transition to Scottish Indy when the time comes.


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