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Green bank to be scaled back

The Guardian is reporting that the proposed green bank for the UK is to be scaled back, starting life as a mere "fund". This means that it will be unable to raise capital on the markets.

In an interview with the Guardian, Huhne said the government remained committed to setting up a bank and an initial fund was only one option. But the prospect of a delay on implementing this key green policy will dismay environmentalists.

Who knows, maybe reality is slowly dawning.

(H/T Munroad)

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Reader Comments (19)

'munroad' not 'dunroad' 'cos after climbing all the munro's I took up road cycling.

Dec 14, 2010 at 10:23 PM | Unregistered Commentermunroad

Canada calling - why are all announcments to do with 'green' in the Guardian??

Dec 14, 2010 at 11:04 PM | Unregistered CommenterDBD

If you look at their 'environment' section the word 'green' is ubiquitous. I might turn out to be wrong, but I get a slight feeling of optimism from this. Enough to add another tot of malt to the glass anyway.

Dec 14, 2010 at 11:12 PM | Unregistered Commentermunroad

The Guardian has always been a curious mix of left wing and (UK) liberal ideas. During the labour years of UK govt, the BBC placed 80%+ of its job adverts there, which explains a lot about the BBC

A recent statement by the Guardian included the fact that it was their editrial policy to support AGW, which came as no surprise. Given their declining readership, and dire financial state, they may be the next UK paper to go bust

Dec 14, 2010 at 11:40 PM | Unregistered Commentergolf charley

To repeat what I posted at the Guardian

I think the idea of a Green Bank is an excellent idea. It gives greenies the opportunity to put their money where their mouth is, rather than conning it out of everyone else.

The economic case for wind and solar is so good (or so they tell us) green investors will make a packet. Therefore if the govt is reluctant to support such a fund, I am sure green investors will have no problem getting it going. I am sure Zak Goldsmith would be up for it

Dec 14, 2010 at 11:48 PM | Unregistered Commentergolf charley

Being fully sympathetic with another tot of malt in most circumstances at this hour, I suggest there's optimism to be had simply by re-reading the sentence:

But the prospect of a delay on implementing this key green policy will dismay environmentalists.

But it also raises this issue for me. Who are 'environmentalists' who really believe in wind power so much (given it's in the picture at the top of the page) and that have been convinced that only a fully fledged green bank will do the job. The kind of environmentalist that I saw Hank Paulson, ex-chair of Goldman Sachs, described as in the last 24 hours? (Where was that? It seemed to be said without any irony.)

So DBD's question is a deep one. We need as part of the openness of climate debate on the Internet to get to the stage where when such claims are always able to be verified with links - in other words it's this set of environmentalists to which I'm referring (thus giving the individuals concerned the chance to say perhaps they're not so convinced by wind power, or by the ability to raise capital on the markets, or whatever). I'm talking about a new kind of wiki. I often am. But don't mind me :)

Dec 14, 2010 at 11:54 PM | Unregistered CommenterRichard Drake

Thanks Charlie - one golfer to another:)

Dec 15, 2010 at 12:11 AM | Unregistered CommenterDBD

And I wasn't trying to be 'deep' though I am a fan of Scottish truth serum Richard.

Dec 15, 2010 at 12:13 AM | Unregistered CommenterDBD

To paraphrase what others said above,

"Let them put their money where there mouth is."

It appears hot air is not bankable. What a surprise.

Dec 15, 2010 at 1:46 AM | Unregistered CommenterDon Pablo de la Sierra

Good info should drive out bad, right Richard? But good info is also putting its boots on while bad info skips around the net with winged, but otherwise, bare feet.

Dec 15, 2010 at 4:23 AM | Unregistered Commenterkim

You really think they would capitalise the bank with their own money ? Aw c'mon given their history of providing subsidies for wind can't be that gullible..

Dec 15, 2010 at 8:38 AM | Unregistered Commenterconfused

The green bank will be another CCX. Finance it at breakfast. Get it up and running through morning coffee. Cream off the bonuses after lunch before it goes belly up by afternoon tea. Count the booty at dinner and everyone with a stuffed mattress sleep’s like a log. Next!

Dec 15, 2010 at 9:15 AM | Unregistered Commentermartyn

Just walked to Tam O'Shanter bar in Shanghai ( 2 inch of Global Warming detritus on the ground in 2 hours!) for a couple or so of tots. The Chinese I have spoken to since Cancun are still of the opinion that the West is nuts! The many high flying financial/banking expats that frequent the place break into laughter when I ask about green banks and carbon offsetting. Then again, they are involved in a real money market here!

Dec 15, 2010 at 9:51 AM | Unregistered CommenterPete Hayes

Interesting to hear the view from Shanghai, Pete. There was an item from Black or Harrabin the other day saying that, although the Chinese were not interested in emissions caps they were committed to the green revolution as they were the largest manufacturers of wind turbines and components for other green energy generation machinery. It did not occur to the unworldly folks at the BBC that this might be simply because government subsidies have inflated the price for these items to the point that there are tasty profit margins for the Chinese, effecting a direct transfer of wealth from taxpayers in the bankrupt West to the State in the booming East.

Dec 15, 2010 at 1:51 PM | Unregistered CommenterDavid S

Huhne is still committed to wind farms. In a letter I have been copied he says "The UK has one of the best wind profiles in Europe, with potential to supply a significant portion of our energy needs and it would be inconceivable not to use it." He believes that renewable energy, "including an important contribution from onshore wind", will reduce the need for gas imports by 20-30% lower than they would have been in 2020.

The difference here, I suppose, is that the consumer is being forced to pay the bills through concealed charges in energy prices as opposed to through direct government spending.

Re 10:10 he says "My Department will continue to work with 10:10 where we share objectives." This surprised me after the furore over the 10:10 video.

Dec 15, 2010 at 2:20 PM | Unregistered CommenterDRG Andrews

"Who knows, maybe reality is slowly dawning."

Nah. What are the odds?

Dec 15, 2010 at 3:40 PM | Unregistered Commentermojo


'Canada calling - why are all announcements to do with 'green' in the Guardian??'

Because only the feeble-minded wishful thinkers who inhabit the Guardian can be arsed to read them?

Dec 15, 2010 at 7:10 PM | Unregistered CommenterLatimer Alder

Re wind power - Huhne clearly has his head so far where the sun don't shine that he just does not 'get it'...
Anyone who (as I do) takes an interest in the neta electricity demand charts, will have seen that over the last few days, the proportion of electricity generated by the 'UK wind profile' has been of the order of ZERO POINT TWO PER CENT. Unfortunately he hasn't grasped the fact that 'the wind is always blowing somewhere in the British Isles' (false) - but also it doesn't blow in response to elecricity demand - frequently quite the opposite, in fact. You could carpet the country with wind farms (as they seem to be trying to do) and STILL have long periods of negligible input - all of which has to be taken up by fossil-fuelled gereating capacity..

Dec 15, 2010 at 7:20 PM | Unregistered CommenterDavid

It's not that people like Huhne will ever change, but economic reality (and voters) do tend to end fantasies. That process is well underway, and in current economic circumstances, it may happen surprisingly quickly.

Dec 16, 2010 at 12:47 PM | Unregistered CommenterBill

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