Lloyds is the latest bank to step up its interest in renewable energy projects in recent years as financial institutions seek to take advantage of the sector’s rapid growth.
Lloyds Banking Group is set to invest around £333m in renewable energy projects as part of a £1bn package designed to help deliver on the government’s Infrastructure Plan.
Chris Heathcote, Lloyds managing director and global head of project finance, told Bloomberg yesterday that around a third of the sum would be invested in renewables over the next 18 months.
He added that Lloyds was considering up to nine social and economic infrastructure projects, three conventional power plants, and up to 12 clean energy projects. Specifically, he said Lloyds was open to investing in offshore wind, solar power and biomass plants. “The areas that seem to be doing the most at the moment are offshore wind, including the off-take connections, and biomass is looking interesting, but I’m slightly cautious as it’s still early days for biomass,” he told the news agency.
Earlier this month, Chancellor George Osborne announced a new scheme called UK Guarantees, which will offer loan guarantees designed to kick-start critical infrastructure projects that may have stalled because of adverse credit conditions. In total, the government has identified about £40bn of projects that could qualify for the guarantees, the bulk of which are understood to be in the energy and transport sectors. Heathcote said Lloyd’s £1bn would help boost the flagging UK economy in the short term, while also enabling businesses to run more efficienctly.
“By providing this additional finance now, during the current economic cycle, vital projects can secure the financing required to progress so that the UK’s infrastructure is ready for when growth returns,” he said. Lloyds is the latest bank to step up its interest in renewable energy projects in recent years as financial institutions seek to take advantage of the sector’s rapid growth. A number of US banks, including Bank of America and JP Morgan, have pledged to increase investment in clean technologies since the start of the year, while the Co-operative Bank recently confirmed that it has already invested over £700m in UK renewable energy projects.
Source : Business Green