UK's GIB eyes onshore wind remit

The UK’s Green Investment Bank (GIB) wants to extend its remit to include the backing of onshore wind projects.

The GIB – set up by the UK government in late 2012 to help kick-start investments in major low-carbon projects – has so far focused on offshore wind, waste-to-energy and energy efficiency.

But the green bank now plans to extend that to backing smaller-scale, community onshore wind projects, which have faced problems raising finance since the country’s Co-op Bank – a major supporter of renewables – was forced to pull in its horns last year.

The GIB has asked EU authorities to approve the remit extension, which would need to be sanctioned under state aid rules. It will argue that a failure of the market makes such support allowable.

The GIB was initially seeded with £3bn by the UK government and topped up with a further £800m last year.

The GIB would expect initial investments in onshore wind and small hydropower projects in the region of £100m.