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PLUMB CENTER WELCOMES CREATION OF GREEN INVESTMENT BANK

25 March 2011

Following today’s budget, Plumb Center has welcomed the announcement by George Osborne of an additional £2bn for the Green Investment Bank

Following today’s budget, Plumb Center has welcomed the announcement by George Osborne of an additional £2bn for the Green Investment Bank - a big advance on the £1bn initial figure being proposed last year.

It does however have concerns that delaying the bank's right to borrow money until 2015 to raise the capital it needs could impact on the speed at which new renewable energy projects get off the ground. The Government-backed institution has been dogged by disagreement within Whitehall about whether or not it should be a bank able to raise its own capital, amid concerns its borrowing could undermine efforts to cut the deficit.

The Chancellor also announced that the bank will be able to begin operations next year, a year earlier than planned. In addition, Mr Osborne indicated that the Government will act to encourage and incentivise take-up of the Green Deal so that it will appeal to households, businesses and prospective providers alike, before it is introduced in 2012.

Other positives for the industry include the changes to the planning system in favour of sustainable development, the carbon floor price starting at £16 which is good news for investment in green energy, and an increase in the carbon tax for office users which could act as an incentive to renovate business premises to make them more energy efficient.

Simon Allan, Renewables Director Plumb Center, said: “Overall, the budget has a number of positives for the industry including the creation of the Green Investment Bank, a commitment to promote the Green Deal in advance of its introduction to householders, businesses and prospective householders alike and changes to the planning system to include a new presumption in favour of sustainable development.

“The government has pledged to be the ‘greenest’ ever which is certainly a positive step for our industry, the economy as a whole, not to mention the planet.”

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