Green investment bank opens for business

The UK's Green Investment Bank - offering funding to businesses centred on sustainable growth - has been officially launched by business secretary Vince Cable.

Capitalised by £3 billion of Government money, the initiative will leverage private sector capital to fund projects such as offshore wind farms, waste and biomass energy and renewable heat.

However, it is estimated that around £200 billion will be needed to boost the renewable energy system alone over the period to 2020.

Launching the bank at its headquarters in Edinburgh, Vince Cable said the bank aims to 'place the green economy at the heart of our recovery and position the UK in the forefront of the drive to develop clean energy.'

A key pledge of the Coalition, it hopes the scheme will also deliver new jobs and sustainable economic growth across the UK.

The bank has already committed £8 million to a project that will generate energy from waste in the North East of England, a project that has attracted a further £8 million of private sector funding. Another £5 million is to be invested towards the retrofit of an industrial company pledging to reduce its energy consumption by 15 per cent.

Commenting at the launch, secretary of state for Scotland Michael Moore said: "We have the best of both worlds: a headquarters in Edinburgh, at the centre of Scotland's thriving businesses and asset management, coupled with a team based in London, the world's leading financial centre."

Scotland is aiming to lead the world in renewable energy, setting ambitious targets to generate all of the country's electricity via renewable energy by 2020.