Working together towards a brighter future

  • Posted: 09 Oct 2019

It’s Good Money Week, organised by the UK Sustainable Investment and Finance Association, which Thrive is part of. As our investors know, money has the power to create real, positive change in the world.

Over the last 25 years we have generated enough renewable electricity in total to meet the annual demand of 1 million UK citizens1. But we, along with the rest of humanity, are facing a climate emergency. This is why we will strive to make even more of a difference in the future.

"Imagine a society where we can live good lives with just a fraction of the energy we use now, powered purely by renewable energy, where our carbon emissions are virtually zero and fuel poverty is a bad but distant memory. Imagine that we’d dramatically improved the energy performance of every building and energy-using gadget in the country, empowered our citizens and businesses to be truly smart with their energy use, and were harnessing renewable energy for our power. Imagine that our energy system served the needs of Britain’s people, communities and businesses and made special provision for those most in need of a warm home. Renewable energy combined with a smart energy system can turn this future into reality, but we need policy and investment to make it happen." Simon Roberts OBE, Chair of the Board

The National Grid produces Future Energy Scenarios describing how power will be generated, distributed and consumed in the future. It demonstrates just how much needs to be done to transform our energy system. We are ready to take on this challenge and invest in new wind, solar and hydro projects; with the right policy framework in place, this transformation will happen.

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This chart presents additional electricity generation capacity in gigawatts (GW) which is required if the UK is going to curtail climate change to the 2 degree Celsius ambition agreed in Paris in 2015.

To-date, the UK has built a fifth of the renewable capacity required to slow climate change. With the UNFCCC (United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change) suggesting we have only 12 years to turn the climate change around, the role for Thrive, its investors and others in building new sustainable energy infrastructure continues to be absolutely crucial.

Our mission is to power the transition to a sustainable energy future by helping people meaningfully connect with clean energy projects. By doing this we can achieve wider energy access and lower costs for everyone over the coming years. With the twin challenges of national planning guidance and an energy system where onshore renewables stand alone in being unsubsidised, the pioneering and values driven investment approach of Thrive and its investors has never been more relevant.

If government, industries and individuals work together towards this common goal, we will succeed in creating a cleaner, fairer and brighter future. We asked some of Thrive’s friends and key industry figures to imagine what this future might look like. Here’s what they said.

“We are on the brink of a monumental shift in how energy is generated and consumed. The past 25 years has seen the groundwork set, the records broken and the goal becoming ever more within reach. This forthcoming 25 year blink of the planet’s eye could be one of the most important for all life on earth. Get it right and put people at the heart of the energy transition and we, our communities and planet thrive.” Emma Bridge, Chief Executive Community Energy England

“By 2045 all our energy consumption will come from renewable sources. There is simply no alternative if we are to tackle climate change on time. Companies like Thrive have been crucial pioneers in making a livable future possible.” Marilou van Goldstein Brouwers, Former Chair Triodos Investment Management BV

“Some people always knew that wind and solar would be making a highly significant contribution to the UK’s electricity supply by 2019 – but most people really didn’t get it back in 1994. Astonishingly, most people still don’t get today’s new reality: that global electricity supply will be close to 100% renewable way before 2045! ” Jonathon Porritt, Founding Director Forum for the Future

“In 2045, I expect climate denial to have been a distant memory; that markets will have shifted to renewables, electricity to be fully zero-carbon and a high proportion of transportation to be electrified. But also that we will come to realise the interconnectedness of sustainability challenges; the direct impacts of climate change - leading to rapid adaptation and contingency investment - will have serious geopolitical consequences.” James Vaccaro, Former Thrive MD

1 - Cumulative generation since 1998, average UK homes equivalent consumption of 3.781MWh/p.a./UK home (https://www.renewableuk.com/page/UKWEDExplained), average residents per household 2.3 (https://www.ons.gov.uk/ peoplepopulationandcommunity/populationandmigration/ populationestimates/bulletins/populationandhousehold estimatesfortheunitedkingdom/2011-03-21)