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Triodos makes bright move into solar industry

08-03-2010 | Triodos - the world's leading sustainable bank - has completed a £300,000 investment through their EIS Green Fund in a UK solar installation business, as the market for renewable energy generation prepares to grow significantly.

  • Triodos Bank invests £300,000 in solar as sales set to solar
  • Solar industry receives additional boost from Government through FITs, further increasing sector's profitability
  • Triodos EIS Green Fund II is open to new investors until 9 April 2010

The Triodos EIS Green Fund invests in high-growth businesses across a range of renewable energy and sustainable living sectors. The investment in Southern Solar completed on the same day that the Government unveiled the details of their new Feed in Tariff (FIT) scheme which reimburses people, communities or businesses for every kWh of renewable energy they produce.

With the FIT return per kWh for solar energy generation higher than any other renewable energy technology, and the cost of solar energy generating equipment lower than ever before, it is predicted that the solar industry will enjoy increased growth through 2010. In addition, sales of solar water heating equipment are expected to grow as the Government prepares to introduce financial incentives for the generation of heat from renewable sources (Renewable Heat Incentive Scheme). Investment in the solar market clearly makes financial sense.

A working relationship between the organisations is already well established, as loan finance from Triodos Bank has supported Southern Solar's growth since 2006.

Triodos EIS Green Fund Manager, Gareth Zahir-Bill says, "Southern Solar;s steady business growth over the last four years has led them to become a perfect investment opportunity for the Triodos EIS Green Fund. We are very pleased to have invested in a company who we feel are at the forefront of a growing market.

"The UK looks set to follow the lead of continental Europe in the uptake of solar energy generation. The planned Government incentives, the falling cost of equipment and a commitment from the public sector and social housing sector to build to higher environmental standards will result in a significant increase in sales for well positioned and managed companies."

The Enterprise Investment Scheme (EIS) is one of the most tax efficient investment schemes in the UK. Triodos EIS Green Fund II offers compelling growth potential through investment opportunities made available to Triodos through its banking and industry networks. Recognising that many banks are ignoring green investment opportunities at a time when the industry is about to grow, Triodos is bucking the trend in the financial services sector.

The Triodos EIS Green Fund II is designed to introduce much needed capital into small but ambitious growing environmental businesses - enterprises with the potential to make a national or environmental impact. The venture capital funds will invest directly in some of the UK's most exciting and sustainable businesses with strong growth potential, in sectors including renewables, energy efficiency and recycling.

The Fund invests between £400,000 and £1,250,000 in companies with a strong track record that qualify for the Government's Enterprise Investment Scheme. The scheme is designed to help smaller, growing companies to raise finance by offering a range of tax reliefs to investors who purchase shares.

The Triodos EIS Green Fund II has already seen significant take-up and investment by those who want to invest in emerging new technologies which will benefit the environment. The fund remains open to new investors until 9 April 2010.

Notes to editors

Southern Solar have been in operation since 2002 and have branches in Bristol, Lewes, Hereford and London. The company has a track record of designing and installing solar installations for a wide range of home owners, social landlords, businesses and local governments. Triodos found that Southern Solar has a strong reputation built on high quality installations, a keen and positive focus on customer service and environmental sustainability.

Triodos Bank only finances enterprises which create social, environmental or cultural added value. Key sectors include organic food and farming, renewable energy, social housing, and fair trade. Transparency is a core value: customers are informed about the bank's lending and can target their savings to particular areas of investment. A range of personal savings accounts is offered, and full banking services are available for businesses and charities. Triodos Bank is an independent bank founded in the Netherlands in 1980. Its principles and independence are protected through a special shareholding trust. The UK office opened in 1995 and is based in Bristol.

Triodos EIS Green Fund II

Following the successful launch of the Triodos EIS Green Fund I in the 2008/09 tax year, the Triodos EIS Green Fund II was launched to invest equity in sustainable UK companies with compelling growth potential. The fund aims to take advantage of attractive investment opportunities available to Triodos through their banking and industry networks to achieve high returns for Investors.

Triodos Bank already manages over 15 investment funds throughout Europe and has over £4 billion of assets under management, including over £1 billion of funds dedicated to renewable energy. Through our Europe-wide reputation and credibility in the sustainability sector, Triodos Bank has unmatched access to potential investment opportunities. In the UK alone, we have over 2,500 business banking customers, giving a ready source of potential deal flow. Triodos EIS Green Fund II is a discretionary Investment management service provided by Triodos Bank.

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