UK Green Investment Bank opens for business

By Erin Voegele | December 06, 2012

The U.K. Department for Business, Innovation & Skills recently declared the U.K. Green Investment Bank plc open for business. The entity is the world’s first investment bank dedicated solely to green investments. According to the U.K. government, the initiative is part of its commitment to setting the U.K. on course towards a green and growing economy. The bank is a key component in this plant, and complements other green policies to accelerate additional capital into renewable infrastructure.

The bank has been funded with £3 billion ($4.83 billion) in government money. According to a release issued by the U.K. Department for Business, Innovation & Skills, the funding will help mobilize additional private capital to make a significant contribution to the development of a green economy.

"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,” said U.K. Business Secretary Vince Cable

Cable also announced the bank’s first investment, an £8 commitment to an anaerobic digestion plant at Teesside. The facility is the first of six planned over the next five years. The Green Investment Bank’s investment is expected to attract an additional £8 in matching funds from the private sector. According the U.K. government, the investment was made through fund manager Greensphere Capital, and is part of an £80 million investment program by the bank in small waste projects.

“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. In combination with our electricity market reforms, there will be lasting economic benefit as a result, with new expertise and jobs created, that will give the UK a competitive edge,” said Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change Edward Davey.

The Green Investment Bank is allowed to make investments in several sectors, including offshore wind, waste, non-domestic energy efficiency, biofuels for transport, biomass power, carbon capture and storage, marine energy and renewable heat.