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publicly-owned green bank

Call for publicly-owned green bank in UK

National green bank would help finance major renewable projects like offshore wind that might not otherwise get off the ground. The UK's transition to a low-carbon economy is being held up by a lack of finance, says a respected think tank, which has called for a publicly-owned Green Bank to be set up.

Green Alliance say a Green Investment Bank would provide capital and guarantees exclusively to low-carbon projects.

It said the recession had left a 'succession of major renewable projects' struggling to raise the necessary finance to get off the ground.

Offshore wind in particular is known to have difficulties in getting finance from banks which are wary of investing in the sector because of construction risks and the challenges of maintenance and operation.

Industry confidence

Green Alliance said in such cases the Bank could step in and provide the initial capital or guarantees as part of a multi-bank investment.

'One significant advantage of a Green Investment Bank would be to give the market greater confidence in the long-term future of low carbon investments and encourage private capital into the market far quicker than would otherwise happen,' said Green Alliance associate and report author Chris Hewett.

Green Alliance said the bank could also help take proven low-carbon technology from a demonstration to commercial scale.

Hewett said the transition to a low carbon economy would require massive private investment over the next generation.

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