By Marcus Leach

The establishment of the first Green Investment Bank (GIB) moved a step closer today (Monday) as Business Secretary Vince Cable published the criteria for deciding where the Bank will be based and what the Bank’s first priorities will be until 2016.

The Green Investment Bank is designed to accelerate private sector investment in the UK’s transition to a green economy. Offshore wind power generation, commercial and industrial waste processing and recycling, energy from waste generation, non-domestic energy efficiency and support for the Green Deal will be the first priority sectors for the Bank, subject to approval by the European Commission.

The criteria for deciding on a location for the bank were also published, with a view to a decision being made on a HQ site by the end of March. The criteria say that the location should:

- be able to recruit and retain the specialist staff needed to run the organisation;
- enable the GIB to work closely with other parties involved in deals as well as other investment bodies, project developers and green technology providers and;
- be in a location that provides good value for money, to ensure that the GIB is cost effective.

The Business Secretary also announced that, to accelerate private sector investment in the green economy, a new team will be set up within the Department for Business to drive investment in the UK’s green infrastructure until the Green Investment Bank is formally established.

The team, which will be called UK Green Investments (UKGI), will have access to the £100 million made available by the Government to invest in smaller waste infrastructure projects on a fully commercial basis. A further £100 million has been provided for investment in the non-domestic energy efficiency sector for next financial year. UKGI will also be available to co-invest in offshore wind projects.

“There is a great opportunity for British businesses to lead the transition to a green economy and stake a claim on a sector that has massive potential for growth," Business Secretary Vince Cable said.

"I’m pleased to see that more than 20 places recognise the impact the Green Investment Bank could make, and are expressing an interest in being its home.

“I want to set up the Bank as soon as possible, so it can start accelerating investments in these key sectors and help British companies take advantage of these opportunities. Setting out the priorities for the Bank and establishing UK Green Investments for April 2012 are a major step forward."

The formal recruitment process for appointments to the Green Investment Bank board and senior management team will begin next month, with the appointment of the Chair being made in spring 2012.

Join us on
Follow @freshbusiness