Gavin Templeton is Head of Sustainable Finance at the UK Green Investment Bank (GIB), the most active investor in the UK’s renewable energy and energy efficiency industries, and a member of the Low Carbon Infrastructure Task Force.
A little under four years ago, the leaders of Scotland’s political parties unanimously hailed the decision to locate the world’s first green investment bank in Edinburgh. This was echoed by leading figures from the country’s business community and the Scottish branches of some of the best-known environmental charities and NGOs.
WWF Scotland said it “put Scotland at the centre of low carbon investment”, adding that the country was “well placed to show real leadership in the move to a low carbon future”.
That has turned out to be a prophetic statement. Since GIB was officially declared open in November 2012, we have committed £2.3bn to 58 green infrastructure projects with a total value of £10.1bn, financed more than a dozen different green energy technologies and taken steps to standardise green impact reporting around the globe.
All of this has been coordinated from our Edinburgh headquarters. But Scotland isn’t simply the home of our head office; it’s also the location of some of our most innovative investments.
We’ve helped the country’s national drink become more sustainable by funding the installation of biomass boilers in a number of whisky distilleries. We’ve invested in a new £111m recycling and waste processing facility at Forth by Lanark driven by new gasification technology and refuse derived fuel. And, for our 50th investment, we announced the first UK deployment of SHARC Energy Systems’ sewage heat recovery technology at Borders College, Galashiels.
And there’s more.
A new £74m combined heat and power plant in Speyside will generate enough renewable energy to power more than 20,000 homes and supply heat to the Macallan distillery. We are helping Scotland harness the energy of its hydro resources via a £50m investment Albion Community Power. And Glasgow became the first city in the UK to benefit from our Green Loan as it began replacing 70,000 streetlights with low-energy LED alternatives.
The way in which the Scottish public and our fellow Low Carbon Task Force members have engaged with the Scotland’s Way Ahead project shows that we’re not ploughing a lone furrow. There’s a drive to decarbonise Scotland’s economy by identifying and investing in low-carbon infrastructure and we’re committed to remaining at the heart of it.
Explore the Task Force's ten transformational projects to shape Scotland's Way Ahead
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