The government should publish a national capital raising plan to deliver the Clean Growth Strategy (CGS) and set up a £100 million fund to develop local green energy projects, its green finance task force has recommended.
The report, jointly submitted to the Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) department and the Treasury, recommends the National Infrastructure Commission (NIC) should be tasked with mapping the amount of capital needed to deliver the CGS and the 25-year environment plan.
This exercise should be incorporated into the National Infrastructure Assessment, which the NIC is currently drawing up.
The NIC should then set out a pipeline covering the next five, 10 and 15 years, setting out the infrastructure that will be required to deliver the CGS.
The taskforce, which was chaired by former Lord Mayor of London Sir Roger Gifford and composed of leading city figures like Legal & General Investment Management chief executive Mark Zinkula, says the NIC should focus on distributed energy and energy efficiency projects.
The task force says the plan should include guidance on the type and level of top up private capital needed to get such projects off the ground.
It also recommends the establishment of a £100 million public/private Local Development Finance fund to help low carbon projects to a point where they are an investable proposition.
And it recommends the establishment of a £20 million Green Investment Accelerator fund to match investment in start-up projects by venture capitalists.
The task force also says the public sector should be encouraged to use impact on climate change as a factor when procuring energy.
Bruce Davis, a member of the task force and joint managing director of environmental investment platform Abundance said the the UK is sitting on a “goldmine of untapped investments” in clean energy and energy efficiency.
“If the UK is going to be a world leader in green finance it is important that the benefits of clean growth are felt all across the country. Clean growth means more than clean, secure energy, it means long term quality jobs, warmer homes and healthier communities.
“The taskforce sets out a clear plan to realise that transition and deliver the benefits of clean growth investments to the real economy.”
Nina Skorupska, chief executive of the Renewable Energy Association, welcomed the report but said the government had to identify concrete policies for supporting low carbon investment.
“The government should be applauded for instigating the taskforce and must now act quickly to implement the recommendations, further cementing the UK’s position as a global leader in green finance.
“As the report highlights, these proposals must also be matched by policies that support a pipeline of renewable and clean tech projects to be invested in. This includes setting out what mechanisms will replace the existing renewable incentives that currently come to an abrupt end by 2020.”