Green Investment Bank opens its doors

Business secretary Vince Cable has declared the UK Green Investment Bank plc (UK GIB) officially open for business and announced the first two investments.

The institution has been funded with £3 billion of government money which will be used to mobilise additional private capital for the development of a green economy.

Speaking in Edinburgh where the new bank is headquartered, Dr Cable revealed that UK GIB had made its first investment since becoming operational, committing an initial £8 million to a project in the North East of England that will generate energy from waste. This will attract a further £8 million of matching private sector funding.

The construction of an Anaerobic Digestion (AD) plant at Teesside is the first of six planned over the next five years, making it the largest single AD project in theUK.  The investment, made through fund manager Greensphere Capital, is part of a £80 million investment programme by UK GIB in small waste projects.

Vince Cable 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.”

The business secretary also announced that UK GIB will invest £5 million to retrofit Kingspan’s UK industrial facilities with systems and services that will reduce its energy consumption by as much as 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. 

Energy minister 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.”