James Carthew: the high-yield solar fund basking in UK’s rays

Published by Citywire, Investment Trust Finder

5th March 2018

Written by James Carthew

 

James Carthew: the high-yield solar fund basking in UK’s rays

With the ‘Beast from the East’ receding it is time to think about spring and sunshine, specifically Bluefield Solar Income Fund (BSIF), the only one of the renewable energy investment companies I own. It has been a great investment to date, throwing off an attractive yield and providing me with some modest capital appreciation. 

Bluefield has no aspirations to expand outside the UK, or diversify into other forms of renewable energy generation, and so it is focused solely on UK-based solar photovoltaic (PV) assets, all of which are ground mounted, at present.

With a market value of £424 million Bluefield is the smallest of the three listed solar funds, and at 6.5% the highest yielding in the renewable energy sector. At Friday’s close of 113.5p the shares traded on a small premium to net asset value (NAV) of 2.6%, which compares to a premium of 8% for NextEnergy Solar (NESF) and 9.7% for Greencoat UK Wind (UKW), according to Morningstar data.

When BSIF launched in 2013, I remember being surprised that solar power generation was viable in the UK even with subsidies. The crystalline silicon-based PV technology that underpins commercial solar plants hasn’t evolved much in recent years. New technologies are out there, based on Gallium Arsenide for example, but the additional cost of producing a solar panel using these technologies outweighs the efficiency gain available. Read full article