THE Green Investment Bank (GIB) is to tap foreign investors for advice on how to pump cash into energy efficiency projects.
The bank will mark its first anniversary as a standalone institution next month with a gathering in Edinburgh featuring some of the biggest players in clean energy finance.
Funding groups from Asia, Europe and the United States will be represented at the Green Bank Conference on 17 October. In total, about 20 of the most influential people in international clean energy financing are expected for the first of what could become an annual gathering.
The event comes a year after the European Commission granted state aid approval for the GIB.
Although the timing of the congress was not specifically planned to coincide with the first anniversary, GIB director of operations Rob Cormie said it comes at “a useful waypoint” in the bank’s development.
With more than £635 million of the £3.8 billion available to the GIB committed across a dozen projects, the bank has real-world experience to draw upon.
“Even after 12 months we are still learning how best we can address the market,” Cormie said. “The market we are in is relatively new, so it will be useful to talk to others from around the world about the lessons we have learned and the challenges we face.”
One of the biggest obstacles the GIB has encountered is finding projects of sufficient scale in the field of energy efficiency, one of its three priority sectors along with offshore wind and waste reduction. Cormie said the GIB would be keen to hear how banks from other parts of the world bundle projects together to create reasonably-sized investments.
Funding structures – such as debt versus equity ratios – will also feature.
Set up as a way of attracting private money into projects that benefit the environment, the GIB began investing on behalf of the UK government in April 2012. The bank became an independent institution six months later.