Co-op Bank in clean energy funding plea

THE Co-operative Bank has urged the coalition to speed up its review of green energy incentives as new figures show it has lent more than £500m to fund renewable power projects since 2007.

The bank has warned that progress to catch up with the low carbon sector in continental Europe could be lost if action is not taken soon.

“There is real danger that these gains could fall away should the review of incentive schemes for large (renewable obligation certificates) and small (feed in tariffs) green energy generation not be completed quickly and with a view to maintaining momentum.”

The bank said its specialist renewables tem has funded 108 schemes as part of an attempt to double its lending to the sector to £1bn by 2013. The loans have a capital value of up to £25m and are typically taken on by small developers, community groups and landowners, the Co-op said.

Richard Wilcox, head of social banking at the Co-op Bank, said: “Despite all the economic turmoil and retrenchment by many lenders, our historically prudent approach meant we were able to maintain this support (for the renewable energy sector)”.