Business Secretary Vince Cable has announced that a UK Green Investment Bank has been launched in Edinburgh. The bank will have a purse of £3bn which will be used to invest in ‘green areas’ such as renewable energies, carbon capture and energy storage as well as energy efficiency measures. The bank’s main headquarters will be situated in the Scottish capital but will have a large presence in London.
Having only just opened its doors, so to speak, the bank has already made its first investments and detail of those have just been released. The first recipients of subsidies from the fund is a project in the North East of England which will see the construction of an anaerobic digestion plant, which will the first in a planned series of six within the next six years. This will be matched by private investors also.
Mr Cable has stated that green economies would be placed “at the heart” of assisting the UK back out of a particularly dire period in the economy. He shared that he hoped this would also position the UK at head of global ambition to develop clean energy for the future.
The £3 billion of government money would see money being leveraged through the private sector and they would almost certainly fund green projects from offshore wind to non-domestic energy efficiency, helping to stimulate growth by creating jobs in a relatively new industry sector.
The Scottish government have been making the most noises to have the bank set up this side of the border as they feel that Scotland is currently is a world leader in the renewable energy market. Scotland already has (very ambitious) plans to become a completely renewable country by 2020. The opening of the bank obviously provides several opportunities for further Scottish-born projects, bringing further jobs as well as funding.
Environmental groups such as the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) also welcomed the introduction of the bank as it sees the move as stepping in the right direction to a low carbon economy. The group also added the investment in the renewable energy infrastructure would be critical into meeting climate targets and securing further employment opportunities.
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