SNP Energy Minister, Fergus Ewing, (above) campaigned to have
the Green Energy Bank located in Edinburgh
Scottish News: Edinburgh-based Green Investment Bank launches
by Jo Edwards
Vince Cable, the business secretary, has officially marked the launch of the new Green Investment Bank (GIB) by announcing funding of a new waste-to-energy plant and energy saving scheme which will be drawn from its £3bn in government funds.
He said the bank, claimed by the government to be the world's first, "will place the green economy at the heart of our recovery and position the UK in the forefront of the drive to develop clean energy”.
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In a deliberately political jibe at Alex Salmond's Scottish government, which is set to work closely with the new bank, Cable added: "Having the headquarters in Edinburgh is a powerful vote of confidence in the union, and a testimony to our commitment to helping Scotland lead the green revolution”.
SNP’s Mike MacKenzie responded, saying: “The Green Investment Bank launching in Edinburgh today is a mark of Scotland’s renewable energy calibre. Given Scotland’s natural wave and wind resources and the financial services based in our capital city and elsewhere, Edinburgh is the best location for the Green Investment Bank HQ.
“I will be pressing UK Energy minister Ed Davey on the fact that that future energy policy of the UK must be renewable focussed, which will allow the developing green industry in Scotland to continue to blossom.”
Mr Mackenzie, a member of parliament’s Economy, Energy and Tourism Committee said the industry’s progress is being propelled by the Scottish government’s commitment to the renewable energy sector.
However, the Scottish Greens, and figures within the renewable energy industry, are urging caution in light of today's launch of the bank, questioning whether it will be as ‘green’ as advertised when investments into non-renewable energy are likely.
Patrick Harvie, MSP for Glasgow and enterprise spokesperson for the Scottish Greens, said:
"It's hard to see how this bank will live up to the hype. Investing in sustainable, clean forms of energy is obvious but this bank isn't being allowed to borrow from the markets so its full potential is being restricted”.
"It was also disappointing to hear Vince Cable on his visit to Scotland today refusing to rule out using the bank to support nuclear projects. And of course we know the Chancellor is openly hostile to a green route out of recession”.
"You really have to question whether this bank will help us shift to a low carbon economy, when both the UK and Scottish governments continue to support fossil fuel extraction and aviation growth."
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