Andrew Aldridge, Partner at Deepbridge Capital, shares his views with Business Leader on the impact of renewable energy on tax planning.
On Mayday Bank Holiday 2021, Britain’s wind farms set a new record for clean energy as the stormy weather on public holidays resulted in onshore and offshore wind turbines making up almost half of the electricity grid in England, Scotland and Wales.
Stormy Holiday Monday itself produced a new wind power record when turbines first generated just over 17.6 GW of electricity in the afternoon, enough to run more than 3.5 million boilers. Wind farms generated 48.5% of the electricity grid in England, Scotland and Wales, which was more than the contribution of gas-fired power plants, nuclear reactors and biomass burners combined. Gas-fired power plants provided 21.7% of the electricity grid yesterday afternoon, nuclear reactors 12% and biomass power plants 6.1%.
Deepbridge Estate Planning Services provides financial advisors with access to a portfolio of Business Relief eligible renewable energy assets with the aim of providing investors with an asset-backed and “green” inheritance tax solution. The Deepbridge Estate Planning Service wind turbines are all currently located in Northern Ireland. So what does this mean to our assets under management while the aforementioned record energy production day is great for Boris’ nickname “Bunny Huggers”? Well, firstly, it shows that the use and development of renewable energy capacity in the UK continues to grow. It is also relevant to show that wind power provides a higher proportion of energy production in Northern Ireland than on the mainland, as follows.
According to economy-ni.gov.uk, between January and December 2020, 49.2% of total electricity consumption in Northern Ireland was generated from renewable sources in Northern Ireland. In addition, 84.9% of this was generated from wind.
As reported by the UK Government, the rest of the UK got 43% of its energy from renewable sources over the same period, of which around 56% came from wind power.
Wind turbines are a common location in Northern Ireland and have made a significant contribution to the development of the network across the region. Small sites, often single or twin turbine sites, are reluctant and relatively accepted by local communities. In fact, the largest application for a wind farm in Northern Ireland, Doraville outside Drapertown, was rejected at the end of 2020 with the statement by the Minister of Infrastructure: “In this case, 33 wind turbines would seriously damage the landscape …” and at the same time reaffirmed his advocacy of renewable energies in general.
Not only can it be difficult to get a permit for large installations, but large wind farms can cost tens, if not hundreds, of millions of pounds. Therefore, it is often more accessible for investors to access small wind turbines in multiple locations. Given the small size of these sites, it is likely that already powered sites will continue to benefit from government subsidies (such as certificates for renewable obligations) for several years; and thus offers secure income.
With the UK government’s promise to “rebuild greener” and re-emphasize its commitment to renewable energy generation as the country’s long-term energy solution, renewables continue to offer investors a great opportunity for long-term, predictable growth while staying at the cutting edge the ethical, ecological and impact investment principles.