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Europe approves Green Investment Bank

The European Commission has yesterday approved the UK government’s plans for a Green Investment Bank (GIB) allowing it start operations in the next few weeks.

The Commission’s granting of state aid approval allows the government to spend up to £3bn on green economy projects.

Business secretary Vince Cable said European approval of the bank marked an “important step”. “State aid approval gives the bank the green light to expand investment in the UK’s green infrastructure,” said Cable.

“Funded with £3bn of government money and mobilising additional private capital, the UK GIB has the potential to make a significant contribution to the development of a green economy,” he added.

New GIB chief executive Shaun Kingsbury and six new non-executive directors will start the positions at the bank on 29 October. The official launch of GIB will be at the end of November.

GIB investment areas

State aid approval by the Commission allows GIB to make commercial investments in the following areas:

Priority sectors:

  • Offshore wind
  • Waste (treatment and recycling and energy from waste)
  • Non domestic energy efficiency

Other sectors:

  • Biofuels for transport
  • Biomass power
  • Carbon capture and storage
  • Marine energy
  • Renewable heat 

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