UK Green Investment Bank (UKGIB) Open for Business
Small Business News – 28th November 2012
The Business Secretary, Vince Cable, has today announced that the long-awaited UK Green Investment Bank (UK GIB or GIB) is finally open for business.
The new bank is, in the Government’s eyes, the world’s first bank dedicated solely towards driving the green economy and received approval from the European Commission last month (17th October 2012) for receiving state aid.
So far £3 billion of Government money has been used to capitalise the new green bank and that money is expected to be used to leverage private sector capital for green projects with Vince Cable expecting "five times that amount" to come from private sector investors.
By focusing on green and environmental capital projects, the Green Investment Bank intends to fund initiatives that not only provide environmentally-friendly economic growth but are sustainable in the long-term.
As well as driving the green sector along the GIB will also operate to make financial returns from its investments and has been set up under the Companies Act as a Public Limited Company in order to keep the institution at "arm’s length" from HM Government.
Alongside Shaun Kingsbury, the Green Investment Bank’s Chief Executive Officer, six new non-executive directors were appointed to the Board on the 29th of October.
UK Green Investments
Prior to the official launch of the bank, the Department of Business, Innovation & Skills’ (BIS) had set up the UK Green Investments (UKGI) team to pave the way in green infrastructure projects.
So far UKGI has leveraged millions of pounds for projects involving waste & waste energy and non-domestic energy efficiency projects.
One of UKGI’s waste fund managers has released £2 million for a £21 million food & green waste processing plant in Dagenham, Essex. The private sector matched the funding with £2 million of its own.
In Middlesborough, Teeside, an anaerobic digestion (AD) plant has received £8 million worth of GIB investment, with privately matched funds, making it the largest AD project in the UK. The AD plant will turn waste into energy and provide electricity for an estimated 11,000 homes.
Future Economic Growth
In addition to the encouragement of investment into the green sector GIB expects the injection of cash to stimulate creativity and create new jobs. Investing capital in new technology and processes wil give the UK a competitive edge, according to Ed Davey, the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change, who announced to the press:
“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 .”
Headquartered in Edinburgh, the GIB is ideally placed, according to Cable, who said of the move to reinforce the emerging green industry in 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 .”
On a visit to Carnegie College’s Whitlock Energy Collaboration Centre, Cable saw first-hand the work being put into the green energy sector and the Business Secretary promised further initiatives in industrial energy efficiency, wind and tidal power projects.