Greg Barker welcomed the REA’s new Finance Forum at the British Renewable Energy Awards Gala Dinner.
The Finance Forum seeks to build stronger and productive relationships between existing REA members, who develop and provide services to renewable energy projects, and the wider finance community. The Minister will be attending the initial Breakfast Meeting of the Finance Forum Steering Group next month.
The Finance Forum has four key pillars, each supported by a dedicated working group:
• Asset Finance Working Group
• Equity Funds Working Group (launching Q3 2014)
• Project Finance Working Group (launching Q3 2014)
• Community Finance Working Group (launching Q3 2014)
The Asset Finance Working Group (AFWG) is the first to get up and running and hosted its third meeting the day of the BREA at the offices of Hogan Lovells in Holborn. The AFWG is specifically working on developing new ways to lend against the security of a renewable energy asset or related business.
The Finance Forum Steering Group sits above these working groups, governing the Finance Forum’s overall direction and inputting directly to the REA’s policy development process. The Finance Forum will help the REA make stronger representations to the Department for Business and the Treasury.
Greg Barker said:
“I’m very encouraged by the REA’s important and timely new Finance Forum. No one does financial innovation better than the UK. It is vitally important that the renewables industry and the wider finance community build strong relationships and share information with each other. Over time this will reduce the cost of capital for investments and help renewable energy towards its target of competing on cost with energy from fossil fuels.”
“From my very earliest conversations with our members last year, it was clear to me that access to finance is a key issue for renewable energy companies. Speaking with the finance community, it became clear that the appetite was there, but that the sector needed demystifying.
“Our Finance Forum will cut through the noise and rhetoric that plagues renewables at present, and help investors understand the real risks and opportunities in renewable heating, power and transport fuels.”
The Finance Forum is headed up by Rob McGrigor who has many years’ experience in the finance sector with a particular focus on renewable energy. The Finance Forum is supported by the online sustainable investment magazine Blue & Green Tomorrow, which offers its readers insights into sustainable investment, purchasing and lifestyle.
Blue & Green Tomorrow kindly sponsored the REA’s new Financial Product Award, which was won by Finance Forum founder member Siemens Financial Services. The SFS Energy Efficiency Financing programme has successfully provided green financing to more than 1,500 projects.
As well as the Finance Forum Breakfast Meeting with Greg Barker, next month will also see the Finance Forum and Blue & Green Tomorrow jointly host a Sustainable Investment Bootcamp explaining renewable energy investment in detail to independent financial advisors.
Simon Leadbetter, founder and publisher of Blue & Green Tomorrow and a judge for the ninth British Renewable Energy Awards, said:
“Judging this year’s Awards entries, it was incredibly motivating to see so many companies and individuals doing so much to tackle our greatest problems – climate change and the limits on unsustainable growth. I’m delighted to be working with the REA to take this one step further with the Finance Forum. This is not just another talking shop.
“The Finance Forum is about explaining renewable energy markets and policies to the mainstream finance community, unlocking new and innovative sources of funding for projects, and strengthening and accelerating real world growth in renewables.”
The image shows Dr Nina Skorupska, Chief Executive REA