Clearview South August 2013 - Issue 141 - Page 75

ENERGYEFFICIENCY Finance for Croatia’s private sector and energy efficiency improvements The EBRD is stepping up its support in Croatia for small and medium-sized enterprises and energy efficiency improvements with a €60 million loan to Zagrebačka Banka d.d., of which €40 million will be extended to private sector companies for investments to improve their competitiveness and €20 million will support the financing of private and municipal energy efficiency and renewable energy projects. ‘energy efficiency credit line will demonstrate the benefits of energy conservation to a wide range of borrowers’ Small and medium-sized private enterprises represent the backbone of the Croatian economy and access to finance remains a significant challenge for many of them. This represents an obstacle to the expansion of existing operations and the development of new market opportunities, Additional £800 million for Green Investment Bank Business Secretary Vince Cable confirmed that the UK Green Investment Bank (GIB) will get £800 million additional funding for 2015/16. Speaking at the GIB’s first annual review event in London, he said this meant that the bank would be able to allocate £3.8 billion until 2016 in its five priority sectors as part of the government’s drive to promote green growth. Vince Cable also told stakeholders that the GIB would be given the option to borrow up to £500 million of this from the National Loans Fund (NLF) - a government lending fund. This would be an important step, which would enable GIB to demonstrate a track record of making healthy profits from its investments in green infrastructure whilst borrowing at a commercial rate. As outlined in its first annual report published this week, the GIB has already directly committed £635 million to 11 transactions with a total value of £2.3 billion. Business Secretary Vince Cable said: “Against a backdrop of tough fiscal decisions being made by government, the £800 million funding for 2015/16 and borrowing from the NLF is a clear signal to the markets that the GIB is central to the government’s plans for green growth and it is there for the long term. “The GIB is already mobilising £3 of private sector money for every £1 from GIB. This additional funding will allow it to continue growing its portfolio and making a strong green impact and demonstrating the profitability of investing in green projects.” ‘Delighted to have this opportunity’ which the EBRD financing aims to overcome. The energy efficiency credit line will demonstrate the benefits of energy conservation to a wide range of borrowers, including clients in the municipal sector that today have limited access to such financing. EBRD President Sir Suma Chakrabarti said: “We are delighted to have this opportunity to strengthen Croatia’s real economy and we see this as a good example for our commitment to the country. Long-lasting and thorough reforms have earned the country its deserved place in the European Union. Now the task is to turn this membership into a success for which a thriving private sector is crucial.” CONSTRUCTION LEADERS CALL FOR GREEN DEAL RESCUE PLAN Construction industry leaders have sent a letter to the main political parties calling for cross-party action to save the Green Deal. The letter, which has been signed by bosses at Willmott Dixon, Carillion and Barratts as well as several manufacturers, was issued after new figures revealed just four Green Deal finance plans have been signed off since the scheme came into being five months ago. The shocking first quarter figures come after more than 38,000 assessments of homes have been carried out up and down the country and sound the alarm that the Green Deal is failing to win hearts and minds. In an open letter orchestrated by the UK Green Building Council, the delivery bosses urged the three main parties to collaborate to address “major concerns” with current retrofit policy. Paul King, Chief Executive of UK-GBC, said: “It is obviously disappointing that more Green Deal assessments have not been turned into finance plans, and it shows just how crucial additional incentives are to drive take up. “But we simply cannot let this fail – retrofitting the UK’s housing stock is too important for reducing energy bills, improving health, creating jobs in the construction sector and avoiding costs of new generating capacity – and no one has a credible alternative.” The current rate of interest for Green Deal finance is in danger of acting as a major disincentive to take up, as well as minimising the extent of the measures available in a Green Deal package. Source: To read more, visit AUG 2013 75