UK boosts Green Bank by £800m

The UK will inject another £800m ($1.22bn) into its Green Investment Bank (GIB) and allow it to make the first steps towards borrowing as well as lending – although initially only from the government itself.

The GIB, which the UK hopes will kick-start investments in major low-carbon projects, began work in late 2012 with £3bn to invest over three years.

It named offshore wind as one of its priority areas, but some critics said the UK government’s refusal to allow it to raise its own finance on the commercial markets would leave it half-baked.

Today the UK business secretary Vince Cable said along with the extra cash injection, GIB would be given the option to borrow up to £500m of that from the National Loans Fund (NLF), a government-controlled fund.

The UK business department said: “This would be an important step which would enable GIB to demonstrate a track record of making healthy profits from its investments in green infrastructure whilst borrowing at a commercial rate.”

Offshore wind was named a priority area at launch by the GIB, and it has already invested £57.5m taking an equity stake in RWE’s 90MW Rhyl Flats project.