£3billion renewables fund gets green light

Vince Cable
Cable: green economy is at the heart of UK’s recovery.

SCOTTISH renewable energy projects are in the running to be among the first to benefit from a £3 billion fund via the new Green Investment Bank (GIB).
A team of advisers has been set up to promote the cause of proposed developments north of the border in a bid to ensure they are at the front of the queue for investment.
The launch of the Scottish Green Investment Advisory Group – a joint initiative of the Scottish Government and the GIB – took place at the Pyramid, Loanhead, to coincide with the official opening of the bank’s headquarters in Edinburgh.
UK business secretary Vince Cable announced the bank officially open at Heriot-Watt University Conference Centre and revealed the first two schemes to benefit from the bank would be an anaerobic digestion plant on Teesside, the first of six planned over the next five years, and a fit-out of manufacturer Kingspan’s UK industrial facilities with systems that will reduce its energy consumption by 15%.
Cable told industry leaders around £8m would go to the construction of the Teesside plant matched by a further £8m from the private sector while the Kingspan investment amounted to around £5m.
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.”
The Scottish advisory group, to be led by Marcia Campbell, former group operations director of Standard Life, will identify and support potential Scottish bidders to make the strongest possible case for GIB funding. It is already working to review 83 projects from all over Scotland.
The bank has been established to invest in offshore wind, waste management and non-domestic energy efficiency – but it will focus on projects that are ready for investor money, and the advisory group will help make sure Scottish projects are ready for investment.
Energy minister Fergus Ewing said: “This group will help Scottish renewable energy projects be at the front of the queue to secure funding from the Green Investment Bank, taking promising projects and helping them make sure their bid is as good as it can be.
“Launching this group on the day the Green Investment Bank officially opens its doors shows how determined the Scottish Government is to ensure Scotland gets the most possible benefit from the bank – after all, funding from the Fossil Fuel Levy, raised on Scotland’s oil and gas, has helped to capitalise the bank.”
Lord Smith of Kelvin, chairman of the GIB added: “The UK Green Investment Bank were instrumental in establishing the advisory group concept and a number of our transaction team are already engaged with the group and working through early stage project information.
“This is a model that we will continue to support as it develops projects and a pipeline of potential investments.”