Green investment bank officially launched by Vince Cable
The Guardian reported
Vince Cable, the business secretary, has officially marked the launch of the new green investment bank (GIB) by announcing funding of a new waste-to-energy plant and an energy saving scheme.
The small projects to build a new anaerobic digestion plant in Teeside and retrofit a panel-making factory in north Wales, involving investments by the GIB of £8m and £5m respectively, will soak up only a tiny fraction of the bank's total £3bn in funding.
Speaking before he formally confirmed the GIB was "open for business" on Wednesday morning in Edinburgh, Cable said these projects were proof of its wider ambitions to develop a low-carbon, clean energy economy. He said the bank, claimed by the government to be the world's first, "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." In a deliberately political dig at Alex Salmond's Scottish government, which is promising to work closely with the new bank, Cable added: "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 GIB – which has been criticised by senior figures in the renewables industry for apparently refusing to invest in promising new wave and tidal energy designs, on the grounds they are too risky – is expected to attract billions of pounds of spending from private investors and banks.
Its main areas for investment will be offshore wind, waste-to-energy and industrial energy efficiency. The other sectors will be developing biofuels for transport, biomass power, carbon capture and storage, marine energy and renewable heat projects – all of which are in their infancy.