08 Jul 2009 11:07:05
UK government urged to make banks invest in renewable energy
Struggling banks that have been taken over by the UK government should be required to invest in renewable energy initiatives, a major figure has claimed.
According to former head of BP Lord Browne of Madingley, institutions such as Royal Bank of Scotland and the Lloyds Banking Group could help kick-start the low-carbon economy by backing such projects.
In an interview with the Times, he also lauded the government's commitment to build 25GW of new offshore wind power generation capacity by 2020 as an "ambitious but achievable" target.
Lord Browne suggested that the biggest challenge in the way of such a goal - which would represent a 40-times increase over the UK's current offshore wind capacity - is funding.
"This could be alleviated by directing state-controlled banks to lend more to projects in the supply chain and by working with the European Investment Bank to speed up implementation of its programme of green lending," he told the paper.
Today, Britain has 2,537 operational wind turbines, which together generate 3.6GW of electricity, according to the Times.
Last month, prime minister Gordon Brown predicted that the global renewable energy sector would be worth as much as £1.8 trillion per year by 2050.http://tinyurl.com/pohjkl