GIB Must Maintain Its “Social Purpose”, Says Renewables Sector

The Green Investment Bank (GIB) must maintain its social purpose, the Renewable Energy Association says, following the closure of the sale to Macquarie Group.

The renewables industry urges the new Bank owners to maintain its “social purpose”, namely to help mainstream new technologies that will decarbonise the energy sector and build new industries.

James Court, Head of Policy for the Renewable Energy Association said: “As we have seen with wind and solar, renewables are now cost competitive following government support and industrial innovation.

“The new owners should continue the Bank’s aim of providing finance to early-stage innovative technologies”

“Prices have come down massively after being deployed at scale and we still believe there are more technologies that have a huge future if backed. The new owners should continue the Bank’s aim of providing finance to early-stage innovative technologies.

“Deep geothermal is a good example of new technologies that the bank can support. Britain has plentiful geothermal resources and the potential to develop an industry, particularly in Cornwall, but a lack of historic projects means that the existing investor community hesitates to provide funding.

“We expect that the on-going Government CfD auction for “less developed” renewable energy technologies, which closes today, will highlight the amazing diversity and cost reductions of new systems that are coming onto the market. Support such as that the Bank can provide is vital if emerging technologies are to deliver on their potential for jobs and lower energy costs.

“Ambitious New Owner”

The £2.3 billion deal ensures that all the taxpayer funding invested in GIB since its creation, including set-up costs, has been returned with a gain of approximately £186 million, the Government says.

As well as fully meeting the government’s objectives, the deal secures the future of the GIB with an “ambitious new owner” committed to growing the business. The Edinburgh office will be home to a new revenue-generating business as well as providing services to the green energy portfolios of both Macquarie and GIB in the UK.

Climate Change and Industry Minister Claire Perry said: “We led the world in setting up the Green Investment Bank and it is now being copied by others. Now that it’s in the private sector, it will be able to operate on an international level to tackle the global challenge of climate change. It is also perfectly placed to help us finance green initiatives for our Clean Growth Plan and realise the commitments set out in the Paris Agreement.”

The sale of the Green Investment Group (formerly Green Investment Bank) was announced in April 2017. It was secured through a competitive process and met the objectives outlined when it launched the sales process last year.

As well as securing value for money for the taxpayer and freeing GIG from the constraints of public sector ownership, it will enable GIG to grow its support for green projects, the Government says.

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