November was a bumper month for wind generation in the UK but future investment in renewables could be hit by a delay to the borrowing capacity of the government’s Green Investment Bank (GIB).
Chancellor George Osborne has stipulated that the GIB will only be able to start borrowing in 2015/16 if the government is delivering on its debt reduction targets.
But in his Autumn Statement yesterday, the Chancellor was forced to admit that the government is not on target and that austerity measures will continue until at least 2016/17.
The delay could mean that the GIB will now not be able to borrow until at least that date, casting doubt over plans for a major offshore wind expansion, which the bank had been going to finance.
The GIB is now the only state bank in Europe without powers to borrow.
The bitterly disappointing news comes as RenewableUK releases figures indicating that three wind power generation records were broken last month.
According to official numbers from National Grid, wind generation reached over 4.5 GW in November, providing 11.45% of the UK’s total electricity demand.
“What we have seen this month has confirmed that wind power is becoming an ever more crucial part our energy mix and that it is creating tangible economic benefits in communities throughout the country, even in the middle of challenging economic times,” says chief executive of RenewableUK, Maria McCaffery.
For further information:
UK government’s long-awaited Energy Bill laid before Parliament (29-Nov)
Green Investment Banks opens for business with £3 billion (28-Nov)
EU approves state aid funding for UK’s Green Investment Bank (17-Oct)
UK government unveils £100 million fund for green investment (6-Aug)
Article source: http://www.energyefficiencynews.com/i/5610/