The UK Green Investment Bank is officially open for business and has made two new green investments, the Business Secretary has announced at the new bank in Edinburgh.
The new financial institution has been funded with £3 billion of government money and will attract private capital to help fund green economy projects.
Speaking in Edinburgh where the bank is headquartered Dr Cable said the investment bank, or UK GIB, has made its first investment, committing £8 million to a project in the north-east of England that will generate energy from waste.
The project is expected to attract a further £8m of private sector funding.
The construction of an anaerobic digestion (AD) plant at Teesside is the first of six such plants planned over the next five years, making it the largest single AD project in the UK.
Made through fund manager Greensphere Capital, the investment is part of a £80m investment promgramme by UK GIB in small waste projects.
Vince Cable said: “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.
He added that having the headquarters in Edinburgh was a vote of confidence to the union with Scotland ” and a testimony to our commitment to helping Scotland lead the green revolution.”
The UK GIB will also invest £5m to retrofit Kingspan’s UK industrial facilities with systems and services. The upgrades are expected to reduce the company’s energy consumption by as much as 15%. The investment made through Sustainable Development Capital, is UK GIB’s first project supported in its £100 million non-domestic energy efficiency investment programme.
Roger Salomone, head of business environment at EEF said: “Shifting to a low carbon economy will require significant and sustained investment. The challenge now is to start getting funding out more quickly to projects that will both cut emissions and generate jobs.”
Present at the announcement event in Edinburgh were the investment bank’s Lord Smith of Kelvin and chief executive Shaun Kingsbury, Energy Secretary Edward Davey, Scotland Secretary Michael Moore and energy minister Greg Barker.