View more on these topics

Foresight Solar VCT gets FIT

The Foresight solar VCT is a venture capital trust that invests mainly in unquoted companies that generate electricity from solar power systems and qualify for Government feed-in tariffs.

FITs are Government incentives for individuals and companies to generate their own electricity using renewable energy such solar power. They provide a fixed payment for each unit of electricity generated for 20 to 25 years, which provides a predictable, long-term inflation-protected revenue stream for investors. There is a further tariff for energy that is not consumed and which is sold in to the national grid.

The prices guaranteed under FITs are set high enough to provide an attractive return in investment after taking into account the cost of the system, sunlight available and other variables.

Foresight established this VCT because it believes that FITs will lead to rapid growth in the sector and attractive returns for investors. The firm is looking to raise up to £40m for this VCT and will build on its experience in solar power investments in Europe. It has invested in solar power projects in Spain and Italy of more than £150m since 2007.

Foresight says the technology to use solar energy to produce electricity is tried and tested, with solar panels now familiar to many people. It sees solar power as an attractive investment because it is supported by legislation in the form of FITs and the government has committed to generate 15 per cent of all the UK’s energy from renewable sources by 2020.

The firm says demand for solar electricity is not dependent on economic recovery and that government spending cuts will have little impact because it is the electricity supply companies, not the Government, that pay the FITs.

The VCT will have a five-year life but there is an individual rollover option for investors who want to stay invested after five years. It will also have a zero discount buyback policy, where any discount to net asset value will be managed through buying shares back at their net asset value.

This product could be useful for investors who share Foresight’s expectations of growth in this sector and who prefer a VCT to an enterprise investment scheme such as the Downing low carbon EIS fund.

Foresight’s experience and relationships with contacts built up over the last few years could be useful in finding UK investment opportunities but a range of factors could represent risks. Differences between the forecast and actual levels of solar power produce could impact on returns, as would any changes in legislation and in the costs of solar panels and other equipment.



Waiting times for FSA authorisation treble

The FSA is taking three times longer to approve new authorisations than it did before the credit crisis, according to figures obtained under the Freedom of Information act. The figures, obtained by law firm Reynolds Porter Chamberlain, show it took an average of 7.9 weeks to gain authorisation in Q2 2007 but this jumped to […]

Labour unveils Shadow ministerial teams for Treasury and work and pensions

The Labour Party has confirmed the Shadow ministerial line-ups at the Treasury and the Department for Work and Pensions although specific briefs have yet to be confirmed. Shadow Chief Secretary to the Treasury Angela Eagle – appointed last week – will be joined by David Hanson, Chris Leslie and Kerry McCarthy. Stephen Timms (pictured), Karen […]


Mark Hoban rules out giving CPMA savings objective

Treasury financial secretary Mark Hoban says the Consumer Protection and Markets Authority should not have a statutory objective to increase savings and protection levels. Money Marketing recently launched a campaign,Pave The Way To Save, calling on the new regulator to have a greater focus on encouraging individuals to save and protect themselves and their families, […]

Second lock-in from Merchant Capital

Merchant Capital has brought out a second issue of its six-year FTSE 100-linked structured product that applies a lock-in feature to both the payment of income and the return of capital.

The Downsizing Delusion: Why relying exclusively on your home to fund your retirement may end in tears

By Steve Webb, director of policy The British obsession with homeownership can have dangerous consequences. A recent survey by Barings¹ found that up to three million people of working age were planning to rely wholly on the value of their home to fund their retirement. We are not talking about people investing in buy-to-let or […]


News and expert analysis straight to your inbox

Sign up


    Leave a comment


    Why register with Money Marketing ?

    Providing trusted insight for professional advisers.  Since 1985 Money Marketing has helped promote and analyse the financial adviser community in the UK and continues to be the trusted industry brand for independent insight and advice.

    News & analysis delivered directly to your inbox
    Register today to receive our range of news alerts including daily and weekly briefings

    Money Marketing Events
    Be the first to hear about our industry leading conferences, awards, roundtables and more.

    Research and insight
    Take part in and see the results of Money Marketing's flagship investigations into industry trends.

    Have your say
    Only registered users can post comments. As the voice of the adviser community, our content generates robust debate. Sign up today and make your voice heard.

    Register now

    Having problems?

    Contact us on +44 (0)20 7292 3712

    Lines are open Monday to Friday 9:00am -5.00pm