Clegg unveils £100m of support for renewable energy in the UK

The deputy prime minister has announced £100m of government contracts to support the development of sustainable energy technologies in the UK.

The contracts, given out by UK Green Investment at the Department for Business Innovation and Skills (BIS), will provide initial finance for specialist fund managers, Equitix and Sustainable Development Capital (SDCL).

These fund managers will actively encourage foreign and domestic investment in non domestic energy efficiency projects around the UK.

The £100m of support is designed to pave the way for the official opening of the Green Investment Bank which will finally start functioning later this year pending state approval.

Mr Clegg is keen to highlight the potential for job creation which this latest government investment will provide in the UK. The energy industry contributes 3.9% of the UK’s GDP and employs about 173,000 people – 7% of industrial employment.

“The UK is the sixth largest market in low carbon goods and environmental services and this Coalition Government is unreservedly committed to helping our low carbon sector thrive,” said the deputy prime minister.

Mr Clegg’s announcement will be made at the British Embassy where a two day event focusing on energy begins today.

This event is one of 18 business summits being organised by UK Trade and Investment in conjunction with the London 2012 Olympics.

Renewable energy could deliver between 30 and 45% of the UK’s energy by 2030 according to BIS and today’s summit will focus on UK energy infrastructure with particular attention to the technology areas that will make the most significant contribution to decarbonising the power sector.

Another announcement at the British Embassy today comes from Dagenham-based firm, Closed Loop Recycling, which has revealed plans to double the capacity of its specialist recycling facility.

Closed Loop Recycling is owner of the world’s first food-grade plastic bottle recycling plant capable of handling both PET and HDPE bottles.

Expansion of this plant will cost £12 million and is expected to create and protect 100 jobs.