Our portfolio of 14 wind and hydro projects generated 84,236MWh of renewable electricity in the first half of 2020, enough to power all the homes in a city the size of Worcester1. This clean electricity delivered 37,906 tCO2e of emission reductions2. Thanks to strong wind resources, generation so far this year has been 26% higher than the same period in 20193 on a like for like basis, taking into account the sale of two wind farms in February 2019.
“The whole world experienced terrible tragedy and unprecedented economic challenges during the first half of 2020 due to the Covid-19 pandemic. But Thrive has shown exceptional resilience. We made rapid changes to the way we work to protect our staff, contractors, and the community, and were able to operate very effectively during lockdown. Despite the crisis we are pleased to report operating profit of £3.3 million.” Matthew Clayton Managing Director, Thrive Renewables
We have continued to grow, developing new wind, hydro, geothermal and potential solar PV generation projects, which will contribute to a cleaner, smarter energy system. This month we invested £200,000 into Riding Sunbeams Apollo ltd. Riding Sunbeam’s mission is to deliver renewable electricity directly to the railway network, whilst delivering benefits to line-side communities. Following a successful pilot project in the summer of 2019, the first commercial scale solar project has been identified and has strong community involvement. Thrive is delighted to be working with Riding Sunbeams which is very well aligned with our mission, delivering more renewable generation capacity and providing communities with the opportunity to meaningfully connect with the energy transition.
In February 2020, Thrive invested into United Downs Geothermal ltd, which has the potential to be the UK’s first geothermal electricity generation project. Two wells have been drilled into Cornwall’s granite bedrock intersecting the Porthtowan fault at 2.3km and 5.1km below ground level. Thrive committed £0.75m once drilling was complete. The funds are being used in the first instance to complete the final tests proving both the temperature of the wells and the flow rates achievable for the water circulating the system. 188˚C naturally occurring heat resource has now been confirmed on site, which is more than sufficient to generate electricity once the testing is completed. Thrive plans to invest a further £5.25m into the next phase of the project, to procure and construct the 3.15MW power generation plant which will generate 6,500 UK homes equivalent1 of electricity.
Thanks to a combination of more renewables on the grid, some especially sunny months, very high wind resources, and a reduction in demand due to lockdown, renewables have taken their biggest ever share of the UKs electricity mix. In Q1 of 2020, renewables accounted for 47% of the UK’s total electricity mix4, and in the early hours of 26th August wind power alone accounted for 59.9% of the UK’s electricity demand5. This increase in renewable energy generation can be seen across the sector and is a positive step forward towards the UK’s net zero ambitions.
“It’s fantastic to see renewables continuing to grow, powering the clean energy transition, through this crisis. So far 2020 has been packed full of renewables records and we want to see that trend continue as renewable energy plays its part in the green recovery.” Matthew Clayton, Managing Director, Thrive Renewables.
The COVID-19 crisis has been an incredibly challenging time for many people. As a responsible business we wanted to support the communities who host our renewable energy projects. In response to the hardship created by the crisis, a total of £22,000 was donated to local groups in communities close to our wind and hydro power projects. The funds were sourced from our voluntary Community Benefit Programme and savings made on business travel due to lockdown. We worked with national charity Centre for Sustainable Energy to administer the funds and local representatives to identify where they would create the greatest benefit. The donations were made to a variety of organisations including foodbanks, baby banks, home learning groups and those experiencing isolation in care homes.
 Calculated using the most recent statistics from the Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) showing that annual UK average domestic household consumption is 3,618kWh, https://www.renewableuk.com/page/UKWEDExplained
 450 tCO2e/GWh, https://www.renewableuk.com/page/UKWEDExplained
 Taking into account the sale of two wind farms in 2019 and the repayment of three funding bridges