The UK Green Investment Bank plc (GIB) was established in 2012 by the UK Government, which provided the business with its initial investment capital. GIB was wholly owned by the UK Government until April 2017, when the UK government agreed to sell the GIB to a consortium led by Macquarie, an Australia-based investment bank. The GIB Chairman’s response to the sale is published here.
As one of the most active investors in the UK Green Economy, GIB has funded the creation of new, modern and green infrastructure across the UK. GIB’s approach is to back projects that have a double bottom-line of being green and profitable. GIB profitability is an important signal to other investors and helps attract new investors and higher levels of investment to UK green infrastructure.
The company is not authorised or regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority or the Prudential Regulation Authority. A wholly owned subsidiary, UK Green Investment Bank Financial Services Limited, is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority.
GIB primarily supports energy efficiency, waste and bioenergy, offshore wind, and onshore renewables projects. GIB uses innovative financial products to deploy new renewable technologies that have led to new and innovative ways of financing green projects and technology. Each investment GIB makes must offer returns against the green and financial double bottom line – it must make a positive contribution to GIB’s five green purposes and it must provide commercial returns in line with the project’s risk. GIB’s five green purposes are: (1) the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions, (2) the advancement of efficiency in the use of natural resources, (3) the protection or enhancement of the natural environment, (4) the protection or enhancement of biodiversity and (5) the promotion of environmental sustainability.
Another example of GIB activities is the Green Loan program, designed for local authorities to increase the installation of LED technology in the UK street lighting market as well as help councils reduce their streetlight energy bills. The loan finances capital expenditure for LEDs and central management systems for smart LED systems. It offers local authorities a low, fixed-rate financial arrangement over a period of up to 20 years with sculpted loan repayment options.
GIB has invested in new waste facilities across the UK, ranging from small scale anaerobic digestion plants, processing food and garden waste, to large scale waste-to-energy plants, diverting large amounts of household waste from landfill and generating renewable energy.
Additionally, GIB has focused on distributed energy generation, including onshore renewable power projects across the UK. GIB focuses in particular on mature renewable technologies, including wind, solar and hydro-electric, and offers investment options in the areas where finance needs are greatest, such as long-term construction financing and unlevered equity.
In 2015, the GIB also announced a £200m international pilot programme in partnership with the UK Government’s Department for Energy and Climate Change. The programme’s current scope covers renewable energy and energy efficiency projects in South Africa, East Africa and India.
As of August 2016, the GIB had backed the creation of 80 green infrastructure projects with a capital commitment of £2.7bn. GIB investments have all together mobilised £10.6bn to support large and small green infrastructure projects across the whole of the UK. In FY 2015-2016, the Green Investment Bank UK realised a pre-tax profit of £9.9m. As of July 2016, UK-GIB reported an average annual projected impact of: 2.3m tonnes landfill avoided, 4.8m tonnes CO2e GHG saved, 20.3 TWh renewable energy produced.
Last updated 24 April 2017