Green Bank clears state aid hurdle
State aid approval was needed from Brussels and had held up the creation of the new bank while the commission decided whether the new vehicle breached its rules.
However, the commission has now given its backing to the bank, which will begin operations in the coming weeks.
“Funded with £3bn of government money and mobilising additional private capital, the UK Green Investment Bank has the potential to make a significant contribution to the development of a green economy,” said Business Secretary Vince Cable. “State aid approval gives the bank the green light to expand investment in the UK’s green infrastructure.”
The government has been preparing for the introduction of the new bank by establishing UK Green Investments, which has provided funding to a range of small-scale projects over recent months.
It has also appointed the team to run the bank and chief executive Shaun Kingsbury will take up his position on 29 October, along with the six new non-executive directors who were appointed in September.
However, the industry remained cautious on the bank’s potential. Although he welcomed the latest progress, sustainability director at WSP Paul Toyne warned the £3bn available is “only a fraction of what we need to drive a low carbon economy”.
He added the bank “is not the panacea, but it is an excellent step in the right direction, showing some positive leadership”.