The UK Infrastructure Bank has today published a £22bn plan to tackle climate change and boost regional growth, making clean energy the largest area of investment.
This is the first time that the bank has, independently, set out where it plans to focus investments since its launch in June last year, with the transport, digital, water and waste sectors also key priorities.
It has financing capacity to deploy £8bn in debt and equity, £10bn in guarantees and £4bn for local authority lending over the next five to eight years, and is currently identifying a pipeline of projects.
However, while looking to help deliver net zero and boost regional growth, a “triple bottom line” will apply to all spending: achieving policy objectives, crowding-in private capital, and generating a positive financial return on equity of between 2.5% to 4%.
CEO John Flint said: “We want our investments to shape the future and, for the first time, we’re highlighting where we expect the biggest investment opportunities will be to deliver on our mission to tackle climate change and regional inequalities.
“The war in Ukraine is an economic earthquake that underlines our mission and the strategic importance of energy security to the UK’s economic future. Rising energy bills also show how in the long-term we need to increase our domestic supply of energy.
“We cannot achieve this alone. Across the breadth of our mission we want to work with partners in the public and private sector to identify where our investment can make the most impact.”
The bank has identified a number of opportunities where it could lead the market in tackling specific infrastructure challenges, such as the roll out of electric vehicle charging, retrofit of buildings and deployment of zero-emission buses by local authorities.
It said that it will also finance the scale-up of existing green infrastructure and accelerate the deployment of new technologies, such as carbon capture, usage and storage and hydrogen.
Furthermore, its strategy highlights the importance of nature-based solutions and recognises that the green infrastructure market is still developing, with the bank continuing to monitor how its investments can help.
Economic secretary to the Treasury, John Glen, said: “A year after its launch, it's great to see the bank delivering on its mandate to accelerate investment in infrastructure, helping to level up across the UK and tackle climate change.
“This new strategic plan sets out how the bank will deploy £22bn of investment into the UK economy over the coming years, boosting growth and supporting jobs.”
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