GIB highlights achievements in annual report

By Erin Voegele | June 26, 2014

The U.K. Green Investment Bank recently released its 2013-’14 annual report and announced new funding to help small and medium enterprises make investments in energy efficiency, including biomass boilers.

Regarding its 2013-’14 results, GIB reported that it committed £668 million ($1.13 billion) to 18 projects during its most recent financial year, which closed March 31. According to the GIB, it is now the most active investor in the U.K.’s green economy.

Last year, GIB invested £140 million in six waste projects, both directly and through its dedicated waste fund managers. In the 18 months since GIB began funding projects, the bank provided £327 to waste and bioenergy projects, with £280 million of that coming from direct investments and £47 million through fund manager.

The report highlights the Birmingham BioPower project, which marked GIB’s first investment in a gasification project. GIB announced its £12 million investment in the £48 million project in December 2013. Once complete, the 10.3 MW plant will process locally sourced wood waste into energy using an advanced thermal treatment developed by Nexterra.

According to the annual report, GIB invested a total of £91 million into local authority waste projects last year. One such project, developed by the London Waste Authority, will produce enough electricity to power 50,000 homes each year. GIB invested £20 million of senior debt in the £244 million project.

Overall, the 18 project GIB invested in last year are expected to reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 3.5 million metric tons per year, once operational. Once complete, the projects will also generate 12.8 TWh of electricity annually, approximately 5.6 percent of the U.K’s renewable energy target for 2020.

The investments made by GIB to date are expected to generate a more than 8 percent rate of return and provide renewable power to 3 million homes. The projects will support more than 3,500 construction and operational jobs and reduce greenhouse gas emissions equivalent to taking 1.6 million cars off the road.

With regard to the new energy efficiency funding, on June 25, GIB and its fund manager Sustainable Development Capital LLP announced £1 million to help small and medium enterprises make energy efficiency investments. The investment will be matched with £1 million from SI Capital R&S1. The resulting £2 million will be invested into ReEnergise Finance Ltd.’s Smart Energy Finance vehicle, which has been set up to provide loans to small and medium enterprises for energy efficiency projects. According to GIB, initial loans are in progress for biomass and lightening projects. The £2 million investment is expected to fund up to 20 project and could eventually build a portfolio of up to £10 million in assets. GIB indicated typical projects will range from £25,000 to £400,000 and could include biomass boilers, low-energy lighting and combined-heat-and-power (CHP).

A full copy of the report is available on the GIB website. Additional information on the energy efficiency investment funding is available here.