GREEN Investment Bank (GIB), the government-backed funding group, yesterday announced that it would launch a £1bn fund to invest in offshore wind projects.
The bank, owned by Vince Cable’s Department for Business, Innovation and Skills, will be established to acquire equity stakes in projects to help boost the UK’s wind power capacity. The launch came as the bank reported a £5.7m operating loss, due to the fact that most projects it had so far funded were still under construction.
“We have emerged from our start-up phase as the most active investor in the UK’s green economy. 2013-14 was a good year for GIB in a difficult market – we backed 18 new projects, more than double our first year, committing an additional £668m of capital,” chairman Lord Smith said.
Over the 12 months ending March this year, the bank invested £668m in 18 green energy projects – double the amount it backed in its first year.
“GIB’s plans for a dedicated offshore wind fund are a real boost for our industrial strategy in a sector where we have a strong competitive advantage compared to other countries,” Cable said.
“There are great opportunities for British companies and the industry has the potential to create 30,000 jobs for the UK.”