The UK’s Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg has today attempted to get the Coalition back on track as the ‘greenest government ever’ with a £100 million commitment to green investment.
The funds, which will be handled by specialist fund managers Equitix and Sustainable Development Capital (SDCL) to invest in non-domestic energy efficiency projects, will pave the way for the government’s long-awaited Green Investment Bank (GIB).
The investment contracts are currently being managed by the UK Green Investments (UKGI) team based in the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills while the GIB is being set up and awaiting state aid approval.
Speaking at the opening of the government’s British Business Embassy on Energy summit at Lancaster House in London, Clegg commented:
“The UK is the sixth largest market in low carbon goods and environmental services and this Coalition Government is unreservedly committed to helping our low carbon sector thrive. The UK is not going to be left behind.”
Clegg also announced three new investments in the UK in the green sector that will boost jobs. Dagenham-based firm Closed Loop Recycling is investing £12 million to double the capacity of its plastic bottle recycling plant to create the most advanced plastics purification facility in the UK.
Meanwhile, Spanish global engineering company Grupotec is expanding ground and roof solar PV installations in the UK and Power Electronics to opening a UK headquarters.
“[We are] at the vanguard of one of the most dynamic, most innovative, most important industries of our time; an industry whose breakthroughs and endeavours will shape our societies for years to come; an industry that will help us build a more stable, more sustainable, more prosperous world,” added Clegg.
The Deputy Prime Minister’s comments have been welcomed by the Renewable Energy Association as “very timely”.
“He is quite right that a global energy revolution is underway and we look forward to working with him to ensure the UK fulfils its extraordinary potential,” says Gaynor Hartnell. “[But] the Coalition Government needs to do much better on providing a clear and stable policy framework to make sure the UK isn’t left further behind.”
She criticised the government’s latest changes to support mechanisms for renewable energy, which have failed to provide certainty to 2017, and the lack of clarity over the proposed Electricity Market Reform.
For further information:
UK Energy Bill will deter investment and add costs, warns committee (23-Jul)
UK reports 36% growth in renewables capacity in 12 months (2-Jul)
UK needs to pick up the pace of emissions reduction, says CCC (29-Jun)
Scottish Energy Ministers questions electricity market reform (21-Jun)
06 August 2012