But let’s start at the beginning of the year: our eighth share issue was closed on 30 January with a private placement for a large shareholder completed in April 2015. We raised an incredible £4.1million in total, meaning we’ve raised £36million in the past two decades. Plus, a whopping 40,310 homes equivalent were powered from our portfolio in the first 6 months of 2015.
We’re really pleased to say that the funds from our last share offer have contributed to commencing generation at three new wind farms, growing our renewable energy capacity by 16% to 64.1MW. These new projects have the capacity to generate enough electricity for a further 7,900 homes. Progress with our existing wind farms has been promising, too. We have already invested £1.3million in an additional 20% holding in Boardinghouse Wind Farm .
Our Annual General Meeting was a great success – our birthday themed day included cake and bunting at the fantastic M Shed in Bristol. Our shareholders voted in favour of a 4p dividend for the second year running.
This wouldn’t be an honest summary of the year without mentioning that the energy sector has experienced turbulent times in recent months. The new Conservative government will have an impact on the future deployment of the three lowest cost sources of renewable energy (onshore wind, solar and hydro). Policies have been changed which impact both the planning consent process and the financial support for new onshore wind projects and other sustainable technologies.
We predict that the changing political landscape will slow the speed of growth in onshore wind, solar PV and hydro in the UK as the developer and equipment supply markets adjust in response. However, Triodos Renewables has a pipeline of assets which allows us to continue modest growth whilst mitigating the evolving regulatory risk. These changes are also accelerating our plans for diversification into other renewable generation technologies, energy efficiency, storage and support of community sustainable energy initiatives.