The desire to look after the planet better has led to a huge rise in interest in drawing more of the energy we use from renewable and less polluting sources.
Yet, for investors this presents a conundrum. The old energy sector - represented by oil, gas, coal and electricity – has been a rich source of profits and dividends, so will they have to forgo these in the future - or could backing the new energy sector instead deliver the returns they desire, whilst also protecting the world we live in?
A handful of investment trusts and funds offer the opportunity to try to do this, combined with the specialist knowledge needed to sift the wheat from the chaff. We speak to Chris Tanner, of JLEN, Environmental Assets Group, which invests directly into projects to deliver income for investors and currently yields 5.6 per cent, to find out more.
In our interview he explains how the trust invests, what it looks for in renewable energy and other green infrastructure investments and why its 18 per cent share price rise this year reflects a surge in interest from big and small investors.
The trust has ongoing charges of 1.3 per cent and its share price has shifted to a hefty 16.7 per cent premium to its net asset value, albeit it has often traded around 10 per cent mark over the past five years.
Dividends are paid four times a year and Chris explains that he believes the share price performance and premium is down to a combination of the search for yield, institutional and personal investing interest in renewable energy and its solid inflation-linked returns on investment.