Thursday 26 May 2011

Green Investment Bank - With Nuclear Overtones

So after much huffing, puffing and posturing the Green Investment Bank ** is limbering up into existence. We can't really complain because all parties promised this in their respective 2010 manifestos, probably the only thing they agreed upon, that and the notion that evil is a jolly bad thing.

Its ability to borrow has been prudently circumscribed: from 2015, "subject to public sector net debt falling as a percentage of GDP" ... next year, sometime, never. Entertainingly for those who enjoy watching green apoplexy, Dr Vince has allowed that it might be used to provide dosh for flood defences (good), and nukes (bad: let EDF raise its own).

The nuclear angle is interesting. The likely chairman of the GIB (when it gets over various EC hurdles) will be Sir Adrian Montague, who has chaired British Energy and knows a thing or two about manipulating gullible governments into stumping up gigantic but unacknowledged de facto subsidies for nukes. It's an easy trick when you can put HMG's AAA rating against very long-term liabilities, as Gordon PFI Brown knew only too well.

How popular will the GIB be ? "A number of companies have already approached the Department of Business to ask for funding, Mr Cable said." Really ? You amaze us, Vince.


PS: I don't recommend you download the BIS doc on this, it seems to be some sort of rogue pdf that caused my machine to seize up on each of my 3 attempts


Old BE said...

Ooh, I'd like a subsidy to replace all my electricals with newer, more energy efficient ones. As part of the process I would like to refurbish the joint with materials that would slash my carbon footprint as a side bonus for the environment.

How about £20,000 at 2% repayable over fifty years?

Nick Drew said...

that's the idea BE, you can be customer #1 !

Vince will award you the cheque himself, in a kitsch little ceremony

you may have to surrender your anonymity, though ... wait a second ... "BE " ?!?

Demetrius said...

One has that ugly feeling about a Bright Idea that is all too likely to go very badly wrong.

Old BE said...

It's just a blatant way of getting around the state aid rules of the EU. It's another Investment In Industry type scheme. Picking winners. Etc.


Budgie said...

The avoid the government setting up a GIB (or any other direct interference) all that is necessary is the government to specify by law the generation mix. Say: 50% nuclear; 15% indigenous coal; 5% renewables; and 30% any/gas. Leave the companies to sort out the market.

This is no different in principle to the government specifying minimum car insurance levels, and private companies competing in the resultant market.

rwendland said...

There seem to be cracks even in the French establishment on new nuke futures. While EDF/Areva are as gung-ho as ever, the Total CEO has blurted out that the 2nd French EPR at Penly, which Total is investing in (20%?), planned schedule is abandoned ("dates ... are no more").

Total CEO was soon slapped down by French Industry Minister! Sounds rather a weak slap down though: "The project hasn’t been suspended [but] there is no precise timetable." and EDF says "EDF ... will look for new partners if needed".

I imagine EDF/Areva is really banking on the GIF to keep the French EPR workers with something to do.

Energy Investment Banks said...

The green investment bank has elicited response from the big environmental group, Greenpeace who have been quoted as saying that the bank would need this kind of monetary investment every year if they are to make any dent in the dying energy infrastructure of the country. Thanks...