The government should publish a national capital raising plan to deliver the Clean Growth Strategy (CGS) and set up a £100 million fund to develop local green energy projects, its green finance task force has recommended. The report, jointly submitted to the Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) department and the Treasury, recommends the National Infrastructure Commission (NIC) should be tasked with mapping the amount of capital needed to deliver the CGS and the 25-year environment plan. This exercise should be incorporated into the National Infrastructure Assessment, which the NIC is currently drawing up. The NIC should then set out a pipeline covering the next five, 10 and 15 years, setting out the infrastructure that will be required to deliver the CGS. The taskforce, which was chaired by former Lord Mayor of London Sir Roger Gifford and composed of leading city figures like Legal & General Investment Management chief executive Mark Zinkula, says the NIC should focus on distributed energy and energy efficiency projects. Nina Skorupska, chief executive of the Renewable Energy Association, welcomed the report but said the government had to identify concrete policies for supporting low carbon investment. “As the report highlights, these proposals must also be matched by policies that support a pipeline of renewable and clean tech projects to be invested in. This includes setting out what mechanisms will replace the existing renewable incentives that currently come to an abrupt end by 2020.”
Utility Week 28th March 2018 read more »
Green Finance Taskforce: Five key takeaways from an action plan to finance clean growth. The Green Finance Taskforce’s report offers a raft of policy recommendations and strategic suggestions for government, financial regulators, and the private sector, with the aim of aligning their goals with that set out in the UK’s Clean Growth Strategy, Industrial Strategy, and 25 Environment Plan. Dubbed ‘Accelerating Green Finance’, the report is extensive in its reach, covering corporate governance, climate risk, green bonds, public investment mechanisms, pensions, investor responsibilities, energy efficiency lending products and local and regional actions. Parts of it do not differ hugely from the EU Commission’s sweeping green finance strategy launched earlier this month, suggesting that, whatever happens post-Brexit with regards to green finance at least the UK and the rest of Europe are broadly on the same page. Still, given the breadth of experience and knowledge of those behind the report, it is a document that merits close consideration for green businesses and policymakers. Chaired by Sir Roger Gifford, former Lord Mayor of London, membership of the panel includes senior executives from a host of leading finance firms, such as Aviva, Barclays, HSBC, Green Investment Group, Legal & General and the Bank of England, as well as leading academics and environmental experts, including chair of the Environment Agency Emma Howard Boyd. The government is set to respond to the Taskforce’s report later this year and the hope is that it will embrace many of its ideas. Here, BusinessGreen rounds up the report’s key findings and recommendations: Embrace climate risk disclosure and TCFD (Taskforce on Climate-Related Financial Disclosures) guidelines; Raise public and private investment in green projects; Unlocking local green financing; Back green buildings and energy efficiency; Clarify investor roles and responsibilities.
Business Green 28th March 2018 read more »
Accelerating green finance: Green Finance Taskforce report. Independent report from the Green Finance Taskforce.
BEIS 28th March 2018 read more »
Britain must double down on shale gas and offshore wind to defend itself. Britain is sitting on two energy jackpots. The Bowland shale gas basin in Lancashire and Yorkshire is a least five times thicker than America’s prolific US fracking zones, and large enough to replace the exhausted reserves of the North Sea. The mid-case estimate of the British Geological Survey is that the Bowland basin holds 1,300 trillion cubic feet (tcf) of gas. If a tenth can be extracted – and US frackers can do better than that – it would cover Britain’s entire gas needs for half a century. Current use is 2.5tcf a year. The formation adjoins our other great bounty, the world’s most competitive wind fields on the shallow banks off the east coast of England and Scotland. Leaps in technology are quickly turning this much-maligned reserve into a potential cash cow. The greater the scale, the cheaper it gets. The scope is almost limitless. The Offshore Wind Industry Council last week unveiled proposals for a vast expansion in offshore turbines to 30 gigawatts, making wind the backbone of the UK power system by 2030. It is a splendid idea. These two great resources fit snugly together: gas plants can be dialed up and down quickly to offset the intermittency of offshore wind. They could combine to deliver the cheapest low-carbon electricity in Europe. Both are located near Britain’s ageing industrial hubs and chemical plants, the heart of the depressed “Brexit regions” of the North with the greatest need for investment after decades of neglect. Britain is already dependent on Russia through the interlinked European gas nexus. This threatens to become a stranglehold over time. Norwegian production is expected to slide another 25pc by 2030. The EU’s internal output faces outright collapse. The insurance policy was supposed to be an available supply of cheap LNG but this has vanished as China makes an epic dash for gas, pushing prices to a three-year high of $11 (MMBtu) on the Asian spot market. “The LNG glut is conspicuously absent,” said Shell’s chief Ben van Beurden.
Telegraph 28th March 2018 read more »