Green Investment Bank opens for business

Vince CableVBusiness Secretary Vince Cable, has officially marked the launch of the new Green Investment Bank (GIB) today (28 November), by announcing funding of a new waste-to-energy plant and an energy saving scheme.

Established to support environmentally-friendly projects that cannot obtain sufficient funding from the markets, the GIB provides investment for renewable and low-carbon technologies such as offshore wind, energy from waste, non-domestic energy efficiency as well as biofuels for transport, biomass power, carbon capture and storage, marine energy and renewable heat projects.

Speaking at a stakeholder event at the bank’s headquarters in Edinburgh this morning, Cable announced that £8 million will now be invested in a new anaerobic digestion (AD) plant in Teesside (matched by a further £8 million from the private sector), the first of six planned over the next five years, making it the largest single AD project in the UK.

The investment, made through fund manager Greensphere Capital, is part of an £80 million investment programme by UK GIB in small waste projects.

A further £5 million will be used to retrofit Kingspan’s UK industrial facilities in North Wales, in the hopes of reducing its energy consumption by 15 per cent. This investment, through Sustainable Development Capital, is UK GIB’s first project supported in its £100 million non-domestic energy efficiency investment programme.

The Business Secretary said that the bank would place the green economy at the "heart of our recovery" and help drive the UK’s clean energy market.

He said: “The Green Investment Bank – a key coalition pledge – is now a reality. It will place the green economy at the heart of our recovery and position the UK in the forefront of the drive to develop clean energy.

“Three billion pounds of government money will leverage private-sector capital to fund projects in priority sectors from offshore wind to waste and non-domestic energy efficiency, helping to deliver our commitment to create jobs and growth right across the UK.

“Having the headquarters in Edinburgh is a powerful vote of confidence in the Union, and a testimony to our commitment to helping Scotland lead the green revolution."

UK Green Investment Bank Chair, Lord Smith, also welcomed the launch of the bank, saying: “The Green Investment Bank has the potential to be a game-changing component of the UK's low-carbon economy, and a profitable centre of excellence in specialist and renewable investment.

"Over the coming months and years, I am confident that our excellent team will put its many years of expertise to work on building the foundations of that sustainable economy, and facilitating the important investments that will ensure its long-term good health."

Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change Edward Davey added: “The Green Investment Bank will help attract the capital required to allow the green economy to blossom, encouraging investors to market and kick-starting low-carbon and energy efficiency projects. In combination with our electricity market reforms, there will be lasting economic benefit as a result, with new expertise and jobs created, that will give the UK a competitive edge.”

Read more about the Green Investment Bank.