Government’s green bank plans ‘too focused on large utilities’

One of the UK’s leading suppliers of ‘green’ energy has warned that the government’s plans for a Green Investment Bank are too focused on large utilities. SmartestEnergy has welcomed the […]

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By ELN reporter

One of the UK’s leading suppliers of ‘green’ energy has warned that the government’s plans for a Green Investment Bank are too focused on large utilities.

SmartestEnergy has welcomed the publication of a report by the Green Investment Bank Commission, also known as the Wigley Report, which effectively set out a blueprint for the construction of the bank.

SmartestEnergy vice president Jo Butlin was pleased that the report put a figure of £550bn on the level of investment needed to provide a low carbon economy, but she added that the report failed to consider the need to reform the energy market.

It was too focussed on “utility-centric” solutions, she said, and paid no attention to the key role that independent small and medium enterprises would need to play.

Butlin said the report also favoured the larger utilities which already dominate the renewables sector, and focused on large, utility-scale financing activity.

As a consequence, she said, the commission’s plan was in danger of “thinking big is beautiful and handing over yet more public money to large multi-national utilities”.

She added that it was “clear we cannot rely solely on this small dominant group to deliver”. Smaller-scale projects, she argued, “were faster to market and proven to deliver.”