In an article in the Guardian this week, Ramsay Dunning opined that crowdfunding is the key to unlocking billions of pounds of funding for the renewable energy space. But for that to happen, argues Ramsay, some fundamental changes in regulation and policy need to occur.
The finger has been pointed squarely at the FCA. The regulatory body is being called upon to look beyond its overriding concern with investor protection, and to play a larger role in facilitating the success of the crowdfunding sector. The FCA has been on the receiving end of much criticism for introducing legislation that some feel will stifle the crowdfunding space. Dunning’s qualms resonate with these criticisms. He calls for the FCA not to hamstring smaller and more innovative alternative finance platforms, and also for greater incentives for investors to get involved.
The incentives on Dunning’s wish list include:
The newly introduced Social Investment Tax Relief (SITR) should be opened to a wider range of crowdfunding platforms.
The Enterprise Investment Scheme (EIS) reliefs – which were dropped as part of this year’s budget – must be reinstated for community energy schemes.
Tax-free saving via ISA inclusion should be made available to the debt-based securities offered by many of the p2p platforms.
For contextual insight into the decline of clean energy investment over the past year, you can read the full piece here.