Cable to open Green Investment Bank
Business Secretary Vince Cable will officially declare the UK's "green" bank open for business as he announces details of its first investments.
The Green Investment Bank (GIB) is funded with £3 billion of Government money earmarked for helping develop a green economy.
First to benefit from the fund is a project in the north-east of England that will generate energy from waste.
Around £8 million will go to the construction of an anaerobic digestion (AD) plant at Teesside, the first of six planned over the next five years. This will be matched with a further £8 million from the private sector, according to the Government. The GIB will also invest £5 million to fit manufacturer Kingspan's UK industrial facilities with systems that will reduce its energy consumption by 15%.
Speaking in Edinburgh, where the new bank is headquartered, Mr Cable will say: "The Green Investment Bank - a key coalition pledge - is now a reality. It will place the green economy at the heart of our recovery and position the UK in the forefront of the drive to develop clean energy."
The Business Secretary added: "Having the headquarters in Edinburgh is a powerful vote of confidence in the Union, and a testimony to our commitment to helping Scotland lead the green revolution." The official launch of UK GIB will take place at the Heriot-Watt University Conference Centre before an audience of finance and environmental figures.UK a competitive edge."
Dan Barlow, of environmental group WWF Scotland, described the bank launch as an exciting step towards a low carbon economy, while Scottish energy minister Fergus Ewing said the opening of the bank presented "huge opportunities" for Scottish green energy projects, bringing jobs and investment.
The Business Secretary later said that Britain was "unique in having a state-backed bank devoted to green economy projects". And he said the initial Government funding would help to attract private investment.
Mr Cable told BBC Radio Scotland's Good Morning Scotland programme: "We have the £3 billion slug of money to spend within this Parliament, alongside private investment. We're hoping by the end of this parliament we will have got something of the order of £15 billion in private and public money into green projects."
He also insisted basing the bank in Scotland was "not a token gesture". Mr Cable said: "There was a lot of competition to have the headquarters of the bank - 32 cities in the UK applied - and I finally came down on Edinburgh. It had this combination of a very strong renewable energy sector in Scotland, combined with the financial capabilities of Edinburgh."