Investors in the Solar 21 fund anticipate growing the fund to €500m over the next 18 months.
The chief executive of Solar 21 Renewable Energy Ireland, Michael Bradley, said that many of those investing regard Solar 21 as a recovery plan for their pensions and believe that it may make up for the poor equity market returns over the past few years.
“When you contrast this stable investment environment with the current equity market volatility which has proven to be all risk and no return over the past 10 years, it’s not difficult to see why so many people are drawn to the radically different solar energy investment concept,” he said.
Mr Bradley added that pension investors choosing Solar 21 are typically investing €100,000 to €250,000 and diversifying lump sums from conventional assets classes, such as equity and property.
He said that the concept appears to be receiving widespread approval from brokers and other investment advisers.
“People are so open to this new form of investment because it offers the type of investment security that is difficult to achieve elsewhere on the marketplace,” Mr Bradley said.
“It differs greatly from other more traditional investments such as equities, bonds or commodities in that it is not dependent upon some unknown future event in order to achieve a return,” he said.
“Solar Energy investment is not dependent on the healthy performance of economies or the financial markets to achieve a decent return.
“In essence, the volatility of the financial markets is completely removed.”
The majority of Solar 21’s funds are invested in photovoltaic solar farms to provide renewable energy to the German and Italian national grid backed by 20-year feed-in-tariff agreements which are guaranteed by the EU and national governments.
The returns from the sales to the national grid are redistributed to the investor by way of a fixed 8.5% annual coupon.