Anaerobic digestion offers a ‘quick win’ for Green Investment Bank

The UK's Green Investment Bank (GIB) should prioritise small-scale renewables including anaerobic digestion as they offer "shovel-ready" opportunities for investment, a leading financial adviser said today (6 July).

Speaking at the UK AD & Biogas show at Birmingham, Nathan Goode, a partner at Grant Thornton, set out the business case for investment in the sector and said that the GIB could be “seen to be making progress” if it took the lead in encouraging greater uptake of such technologies.

“The gap between the scale of aspiration in the AD industry and the apparent available finance to take it forward is significant,” he told delegates. “Investors want real certainty – the GIB could step in and bridge that risk gap in some shape or form.”

Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg hinted earlier this year that the GIB, which is expected to catalyse £15B of new investment in green infrastructure by 2015, would be looking to prioritise three key sectors – offshore wind, waste and non-domestic energy efficiency – but Goode believes these priorities are “still very much under review”.

He said: “There are plenty of opportunities to push the case harder for small-scale renewables. AD has considerable reach among communities and citizens, and the Government needs to win hearts and minds.”

In May Grant Thornton produced a report with the Co-Operative bank that called for a sustainable energy fund for small-scale renewables. Using high-level modelling, the study found that the impact of the GIB investing £190M in these technologies would generate nearly 3GWh per year of renewable energy, creating over 6,500 jobs and raising £56M in taxes to the HMRC.

Maxine Perella

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