Cash boost for offshore wind
The UK government’s Green Investment Bank has announced its intention to raise a £1 billion fund to encourage new private investors to invest in offshore wind farms in the UK. The news has been warmly welcomed by The Crown Estate.
Huub den Rooijen, Head of Offshore Wind at The Crown Estate said: “The UK continues to be the most attractive place to invest in offshore wind globally and today’s announcement by the GIB to raise a £1 billion fund to attract new private investment is another vote of confidence in the UK’s maturing sector. Offshore wind is already making a material contribution to the UK’s electricity demand, around 3-4 per cent annually, and employing nearly 7,000 people directly – today’s announcement is a further boost to unlocking offshore wind’s full potential and the UK’s transition to a low carbon economy.”
The announcement by GIB to establish a £1 billion Offshore Wind Fund to acquire equity stakes in operational offshore wind projects in the UK was made alongside their 2013-2014 annual results. GIB is seeking a suitable group of strategic, long-term co-investors to participate in this innovative capital raising exercise.
The Green Investment Bank is a key part of the UK’s efforts to achieve its legally binding environmental targets. These targets require an investment of £330bn in the UK’s green economy by 2020. According to GIB, to date the UK is seeing investment in its green economy at less than half the required rate. GIB’s business model is not designed to plug the gap through direct investments alone. The trick for GIB is to invest in a way which demonstrates the attractiveness of the opportunity to others.
By Jake Frith
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