Sandy Taylor, Birmingham City Council’s head of climate change and sustainability, blogs about this week’s update from the Government on its plans for a Green Investment Bank…
I was looking forward to hearing the Government’s latest update on the GIB.
From what has been announced over the last 12 months, we know it is intended to be an arms length organisation that will invest both public and private money in growing the “green economy”.
In terms of Birmingham, this could potentially include support to local projects promoted by the city council.
As a council I think the role for the GIB in Birmingham could and should be as follows:
• to support the delivery of Birmingham as a “Smart Energy” city in accelerating the delivery of our district energy networks across the whole city. This is our long term objective towards our 2026 CO2 reduction target (of 60 per cent when compared to 1990 baseline levels) and beyond. We have achieved excellent progress with our Birmingham District Energy Company partnership with Cofely District Energy to date. GIB will enable an acceleration on key products
• to support the further extension of our “Birmingham Energy Savers” scheme under the Green Deal arrangements The BES has been approved to deliver a major large scale project starting in 2012 with a target to retrofit 15,000 homes. But with a total building stock of over 430,000 homes in the city, long term finance support is essential to ensure effective delivery
• to support the creation of new development and investment locations in the city – the TEED – Tyseley Environmental Economy District – provides an ideal opportunity for GIB investment to facilitate new energy generation facilities connected to upgraded energy systems and also the development of low carbon technologies
• to support investment in the city’s management of its total waste – domestic, commercial and construction waste to maximise the added value of reuse, recycling and energy recovery capacity to the city. This will continue to improve the city’s recycling facilities, but also capture more of the energy values in the city’s waste and also continue to reduce much further the amount of waste to landfill
In summary, there are some very interesting times ahead, and we will be closely watching what the Government does, to ensure Birmingham is best placed to benefit from the creation of the GIB.