UK green bank initiative offers prospects for more CHP uptake

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The Green Investment Bank (GIB) last week announced a partnership arrangement with Societe Generale Equipment Finance, which the bank says it would not rule out trying to replicate in the future.

GIB and Societe Generale allocated $83m towards public and private organisations in the UK, aiming to assist various enterprises in cost-cutting energy efficiency initiatives, and with green project potential squeezed in the current climate, GIB spokesperson Ronit Wolfson says it’s a model the bank would consider again.
GIB
“There is no imminent announcement of other partnerships but it’s an interesting model. Although it’s not something we have immediate plans to replicate, we could conceivably do that in the future.”

Wolfson says the area of energy efficiency covers a wide gamut of technologies and that presents a challenge in itself, but not the only one.

“One of the issues is there’s not much long term financing in the market so hopefully having £50m of long term finance will help but clearly it’s not enough on its own but all of these things help.”

“Also it’s a really fragmented market compared to offshore wind energy for example. Energy efficiency covers in theory anybody that can deploy their business in a more efficient way. Some of the projects will be huge; you may have factories and potential big capital investment. Equally you could talk about replacing one boiler and everything in between.”

One technology the Edinburgh-based GIB believes will be frequently considered during this investmet drive is combined heat and power (CHP).

“It is clearly a good and simple technology to use. We would anticipate quiet a lot of interest for these projects in using CHP but (in terms of this investment fund) it depends on the organisation. If an organisation was a manufacturing company that wanted to make their industrial processes more efficient CHP might not be the most appropriate. If it was a hospital then probably it could be deemed to be more appropriate.”

Clearly CHP makes a lot of sense and we would expect a good amount of these projects to include it but it’s very much case by case, depending on how each applicant organisation uses energy and what they use it for.”

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