The UK Business Secretary announced in Edinburgh this week that the much vaunted Green Investment Bank has already made its first investment, committing £8 million to a project in the North East of England concerned with the generation of energy from waste which will be matched by a further £8 million of private sector funding. The new Anaerobic Digester (AD) plant at Teesside will be the first of six such plants to be developed over the next five years, essentially making the project the largest single AD programme in the country. The funding, delivered through fund manager Greensphere Capital, is part of an £80 million investment programme by the GIB in small waste projects.
“The Green Investment Bank - a key coalition pledge - is now a reality” Cable said. “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.”
Cable also announced that the bank will invest £5 million in Kingspan’s UK industrial facilities which need to be retrofitted in order to reduce energy consumption by as much as 15 percent. The investment will be made through Sustainable Development Capital and is the first project in UK GIB’s £100 million non-domestic energy efficiency programme. Dr Cable made the announcements at a stakeholder event in Edinburgh as part of the bank’s official launch. UK GIB Chair, Lord Smith of Kelvin and Chief Executive Shaun Kingsbury were also present and were joined by Energy Secretary Ed Davey, Scotland Secretary Michael Moore and Energy Minister Greg Barker.
“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” said Ed Davey. “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.”
The UK Green Investment Bank was established as a public company earlier this year with the main aim of helping to support the development of the UK’s green economy. It received state aid approval from the European Commission last month and is now operational as an independent bank and ready for business. Prior to receiving state aid approval investments were made directly by the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) Green Investments Team (UKGI) which has so far committed £180 million to smaller waste infrastructure, energy from waste and non domestic energy efficiency projects. The assets built up the UKGI have now been transferred to UK GIB.