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Renewables job creation could be hindered by government incentives review, says bank

Job creation and increased sustainability created by small scale renewable energy projects could grind to a halt if the government takes too long over its review of green energy incentive schemes, a lender has said.

The Co-operative Bank has lent funding to 108 renewable projects in the past four years, but its head of social banking Richard Wilcox warned the wider benefits of such projects could drain away if the government’s review of green energy incentive schemes including Renewable Obligation Certificates (Rocs) and Feed-in Tariffs (Fits) – is not completed quickly. “There is a real danger that this [rapid growth] could grind to a halt,” said Wilcox.

The government announced its review of Roc banding last week. No timescale has been provided for the release of details about Fits.

Small scale renewable energy projects such as onshore wind farms and hydro-electric schemes have helped to create local jobs and diversify local economies where they are built, the Co-operative Bank said. It has lent over £500M to 108 renewable energy projects since 2007, and said it intends to double its investment in the sector to £1bn by 2013.

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