UK announces £40m fund to support cleantech companies

The Clean Growth Fund will support companies seeking to commercialise ‘promising innovative’ green solutions

By Priyanka Shrestha

The UK Government is investing £20 million in a venture capital fund to support cleantech companies.

Dubbed the Clean Growth Fund, it will also include at least a further £20 million from the private sector, with the aim for it to be worth £60 million or more eventually.

It will make direct investments in companies seeking to commercialise “promising innovative” clean growth solutions, with areas ranging from renewable energy and heat, energy efficiency, low emission vehicles and associated infrastructure, sustainable buildings and clean manufacturing to smart grids and smart energy technologies.

BEIS is seeking proposals from prospective fund managers “who have a proven track record” in this sector or related sectors – they will be responsible for raising the private sector portion of fund investment of 50% or more.

Clarification questions from prospective bidders must be submitted by 16th November and proposals should be presented by 14th December 2018.

A preferred bidder is expected to be selected in early March 2019 and the fund manager signed up by early May 2019.

The government has also announced two new standards for green finance, with the British Standards Institution developing Publicly Available Specifications (PAS) in sustainable finance to increase confidence in, and understanding of, sustainable investments and activities.

A Green Finance Strategy is to be published next year, with the government’s response to the Green Finance Taskforce’s recommendations as well as objectives to boost the uptake of green finance.

Energy and Clean Growth Minister Claire Perry said: “Decarbonising the global economy is a multi-trillion pound opportunity. For decades the UK has been recognised as a leading financial centre and today we’re primed to enhance our already world-leading green finance sector, making sure the bulk of this investment flows through the city of London.

“To mark our first ever Green GB Week, we’re spending £20 million to help to create a new investment fund that will provide a shot in the arm for growing UK clean technology startups and creating new standards to streamline the business environment for green finance in the UK.”

The UK will also chair the new International Standards Organisation Technical Committee in Sustainable Finance, which aims to develop global green finance standards. 

The announcements are part of Green GB Week, designed to highlight the opportunities clean growth offers the UK and raise understanding of how businesses and the public can contribute to tackling climate change

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