Thrive exists to power the transition to a sustainable energy future. The way we do this is by giving people the opportunity to invest in renewable energy. We do good with our investors’ money. And with a community of over 6,000 investors, we are able to do quite a lot of good.
In the first six months of this year the wind farms, solar panels and hydro turbines that we invest in have generated 125 million kWh, that’s enough electricity to power 66,534 average homes. If we look at it in terms of emissions, each shareholder has saved 8 tonnes of CO2 in the first 6 months of 2018.
Our investors want to see social impact too. Our voluntary Community Benefit Programme goes above and beyond planning requirements to support the communities who host our sites. They are eligible to apply for grants of up to £4,000 to improve energy efficiency in community buildings like schools and village halls, making them more warm and cosy for visitors.
This means real benefits to real people. Doddington, a rural community in Cambridgeshire is one of 17 projects so far that has been awarded a grant. They installed new LED lighting in their village hall.
"Our electric bills are very high, one of our highest costs; this should take off a lot of pressure financially and put the hall in a good position for the future” says Darren who runs the hall. “We have had very positive feedback from many of the hall's users saying the lighting is much much brighter, it also makes the hall look bigger and cleaner! Our caretaker is very happy! Above all we should see the environmental and energy saving benefit very soon on our bills.”
People are intrigued and fascinated by how renewable energy works. So we run regular family open days at our sites. More than 300 people turned up recently to the family fun day to celebrate the official opening of Drumduff wind farm, which is built on the site of a former coal mine near Edinburgh. As always, visitors really appreciated the community feel of the day with free science shows, a bike track and of course the chance to peek inside the turbines. As one visitor said: “Thought we would stay for half an hour and have a look around – absolutely great, have been here all day!”
So we believe money invested by our shareholders in sustainable energy delivers several levels of ‘good’. Globally, clean, smart, renewable energy helps us tackle climate change. On a business level the electricity generated delivers profits – our operating profit was £2.9 million for the first half of the year. And local communities who host wind farms and solar parks see investment, education and support to save energy and money.