UK Green Investment Bank plc (GIB) has today announced that it has now committed £2.3bn to 58 green infrastructure projects with a total value of £10.1bn. The announcement was made almost three years to the day that the organisation was officially declared open.
GIB is the most active investor in the UK’s renewable energy and energy efficiency industries. The organisation’s most recent investment – a commitment of £47m to Northern Ireland’s largest Energy from Waste (EfW) plant – is indicative of its mandate: financing innovative UK green infrastructure projects on a commercial basis while ‘crowding in’ private sector capital.
Business Secretary Sajid Javid said: “As this milestone shows, the Green Investment Bank is going from strength to strength and is having a major impact supporting renewable energy projects across the whole of the UK. Crucially, it has demonstrated that investing in green technology and our future energy security can be a profitable business and I am sure the coming years will see a significant scaling-up of its operations as it moves into private ownership and mobilises private sector capital.”
Shaun Kingsbury, Chief Executive, Green Investment Bank, said: “GIB was declared open for business three years ago. Since then we have worked with almost 100 co-investors to finance more than £10bn of green infrastructure in the UK. But our contribution goes beyond the projects we have financed: we have shown that green investment is good business.
“We operate as a specialist investor in a niche, but fast-growing area of financial services. Our focused team of market experts has moulded a flexible and creative investment strategy that has played a major role in establishing a commercial market for green infrastructure investment in the UK. Our experience offers important lessons for other countries looking to the private sector to help deliver their investment ambitions set out ahead of the Paris climate change conference.”
Commenting on the news WWF-UK spokesperson Lang Banks said: “In a relatively short time the Green Investment Bank has achieved impressive results toward reducing climate emissions and creating jobs in the growing low carbon economy. Its successful investments in offshore wind and energy efficiency have been effective in getting numerous innovative projects off the ground.
“Whether it is the Green Investment Bank, Government or others, if we’re to meet our climate change objectives it’s vital that we see continued investment in low-carbon infrastructure and technologies. Failure to invest in the right projects today could end up locking us into a high-carbon world tomorrow.
On proposed plans to privatise the GIB, Banks added: “Providing the GIB with additional borrowing powers could strengthen its ability to deliver more for the environment, but without suitable safeguards protecting its green mission, there’s a real risk that the proposed privatisation will undermine its role in unlocking green investment. Whatever the outcome the green purpose of the GIB must be retained.”
Niall Stuart, Chief Executive of Scottish Renewables, said: “In the three short years of Green Investment Bank’s existence it has become an important source of capital to the renewable energy sector and initiatives that have contributed to cutting carbon emissions and driving energy efficiencies in the Scottish economy.
“From investing in major offshore wind projects to biomass boilers in whisky distilleries and LED street lighting, the GIB has demonstrated its diversity.
“We hope to see this commitment in renewable heat and electricity in Scotland continue as the bank moves into its next important phase.”
Key achievements over the past three years include:
From the Highlands of Scotland to the Sussex coast, Derry/Londonderry to Llandudno, we have invested in every region of the UK.
Partnered with almost 100 co-investors.
For every £1 we have invested they have mobilised £3 of third-party investment.
Financed over a dozen different green energy technologies: from 6MW offshore wind turbines to small biomass boilers in whisky distilleries.
Investments range from a £306.5m commitment to a £1.2bn offshore wind farm off the coast of Brighton, to a £6.3m Green Loan to finance the installation of 10,000 LED streetlights in Glasgow.
Once built, investments will:
– Produce enough renewable energy to meet the annual electricity needs of every home in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.
– Reduce greenhouse gas emissions by the equivalent of removing nearly every car in Scotland from the road.
– Prevent waste equivalent to that produced by every household in South West England being sent to landfill.
Reached profitability after just two-and-a-half years of operations. Once operational, we project that our current portfolio of investments will generate an overall return of over 10%.
Raised the UK’s largest renewable energy fund. Our FCA-regulated subsidiary, UK Green Investment Bank Financial Services Limited (GIBFS) has secured commitments of £818m for its Offshore Wind Fund.
On the verge of announcing our first overseas investment. UK Climate Investments, our joint venture with the UK Government’s Department for Energy and Climate Change (DECC) will invest up to £200m in developing countries.
‘Green Investment Handbook’ is available in the three most widely spoken languages in the world – Chinese, Spanish and English.
In Waste and Bioenergy:
Supported innovation by becoming the only investor to finance four separate gasification technologies in the UK.
In Offshore Wind:
Financed 757 offshore wind turbines in the UK – that’s 40% of all the turbines currently operating or under construction.
In Energy Efficiency and Community Scale Renewables:
Committed £400m to dedicated funds and asset finance platforms
Launched the Green Loan to help UK Local Authorities make the switch to low-energy streetlighting.