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Bank board set to boost Green Deal

The make-up of the Green Investment Bank advisory group suggests the Green Deal will be a priority, experts told CN this week.

A team of high-profile finance and Sustainability professionals tasked with advising ministers on creating the GIB was due to meet for the first time on Tuesday this week.

Investment in offshore wind programmes and industrial energy efficiency could also benefit from their attention.

Paul Davies, partner at accountancy firm PwC, said the choice of board indicated a keen interest in the Green Deal.

“The key thing for the Green Investment Bank is to make sure it is a catalyst in developing markets to bring in private sector capital; for example, early lending in the ramp-up stage in the Green Deal and other energy efficiency investment.

“The make-up of the board suggests this will be a priority.”

As reported in May, the board is chaired by former British Energy chairman and current non-executive director of Skanska, Sir Adrian Montague.

It includes Lord Stern of Brentford, author of the 2006 Stern Review on the Economics of Climate Change for the Labour government.

The advisory group will operate for 18 months, during which time £775 million, raised from the sale of High Speed 1, will be released with another £2.225bn to follow by 2015.

Ben Caldecott, head of European policy at Climate Change Capital, said the GIB’s priority would be offshore wind, the Green Deal and industrial energy efficiency.

But he said funding would be used to stimulate private sector investment, rather than be dispersed to construction companies.

The aim will be to reduce risk and “provide comfort” in the low-carbon infrastructure sector. This could involve joint equity investment, offering subordinated debt, or refinancing projects through banks and utilities.

Mr Caldecott said: “The construction sector is already reaping the rewards of low-carbon investment, but the scale and number of such opportunities will continue to rapidly accelerate as the decade progresses.”


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