Green Investment Bank reports first (tiny) profit after £720 million investment in renewables amid political row over privatisation

Green Investment BankThe Edinburgh-based Green Investment Bank will today (Thurs) formally announce its first annual profit since it was established three years ago.

The public-sector lender made a minute profit (less than 1%) of £100,000 from more than £720 million of investments in its 2014-15 financial year.

Since it started investing in renewable power and energy-efficiency projects, the bank has now committed a total of £2 billion to 50 developments  which – when completed – will produce enough renewable energy to power the electricity needs of 4.2m UK homes each year.

The projects include £240 million investment in offshore wind, a £1.5 million investment in an anaerobic digestion plant in Northern Ireland and a £6 million investment in low-energy street lighting in Glasgow.

UK Business Secretary, Sajid Javid said: The Green Investment Bank has shown that investment in green technologies can be a profitable business. The challenge now is to build on this success.

“The bank will still be green, still be profitable, still be a market-leader in financing environmentally sound infrastructure, but – free from limitations on where it can borrow money and EU regulations on state aid – the bank will now also be able to access a much greater volume of capital  from the private sector

“This is the right decision for the Green Investment Bank, the right decision for the environment and the right decision for taxpayers.”

Chancellor of the Exchequer, George Osborne added: In 2012 we set up the Green Investment Bank to support important investment in the UK’s green infrastructure and since then it’s gone from strength to strength.

“That is why we can now begin exploring options for moving the bank into the private sector to enable it to access larger pools of capital and act more freely to invest in a broad range of green sectors. 

“We want the Green Investment bank to attract more investment and we will use the money we raise to pay down the national debt and deliver lasting economic security for working people.”

But the Scottish Government attacked Osborne’s plans to privatise the Green Investment Bank – and to keep its jobs in Edinburgh, which include some of the highest-paid public sector posts across the entire UK.

Deputy First Minister John Swinney is urging the UK Government to commit to maintaining a public stake in the bank, and to ensure it retains its original purpose as a green bank.

He is also calling for reassurances that the headquarters and jobs are retained in Edinburgh, and that all of the previously announced £3.8bn capital provided to the bank is carried through.

Pixie Energy

Pixie logo Pixie Energy is an incubator and a facilitator of strategic research and project work, focusing on energy regulation, policy and markets at the local and national level. Find out more about Pixie Energy here.

Local Energy Matters: Scotland

Local Energy Matters: Scotland is a free-to-download brochure with a focus on energy tariffs in the two Scottish electricity distribution regions, as well news on local energy and low-carbon schemes.

Previous editions can be download here.

Scottish energy market overview

You can read an overview of the Scottish energy market here.

Scottish Government energy feed