The announcements coincided with the Global Business Summit on Energy in London yesterday, organized by UK Trade & Investment, at which Clegg also announced a £100mn fund for green investment. “There is a global energy revolution underway,” Clegg said. “The UK is not going to be left behind.”
Along with Energy Secretary, Ed Davey, Clegg was at pains to stress the UK’s green credentials at the summit, telling investors that the Coalition Government “is unreservedly committed to helping our low carbon sector thrive”.
The new investments announced at the summit prove this, he suggested. Spanish global engineering company Grupotec plans to expand its ground and roof solar PV installation operation in the UK, creating nine jobs and doubling its current workforce in Richmond, Surrey. Meantime, Power Electronics wants to increase sales of its solar inverters and is opening a UK headquarters in September, creating four jobs in Reading.
In addition, the UK Green Investments (UKGI) team, based in the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills, announced contracts to provide initial funding of £100m to two specialist managers, Equitix and SDCL. The two firms will invest the funds in small-scale Non-Domestic Energy Efficiency infrastructure projects. UKGI’s money will be co-invested pari passu (on market terms and meeting the requirements for state aid exemptions and approvals) with private investors on each deal.
The fund managers will be actively encouraging foreign and domestic investment alongside UK Government funds. The Government investments pave the way for the UK Green Investment Bank (UK GIB), which is expected to open later this year following state aid approval.