Tuesday, 7 July 2009

Ex-BP boss wants banks forced to invest in green power

Lord Browne tells Times newspaper that lack of credit is blocking achievement of clean energy targets
State-controlled banks including RBS and Lloyds should be forced to invest in renewable energy projects if the government is to meet its 2020 clean energy targets, according to former BP boss Lord Browne.
In an interview with the Times, the peer and managing partner of private equity firm Riverstone Holdings says that “lack of credit” is the biggest obstacle to achieving 25GW of offshore wind capacity by the end of the next decade.
He says: “This could be alleviated by directing state-controlled banks to lend more to projects in the supply chain and by working with the European Investment Bank to speed up implementation of its programme of green lending.”
Browne's comments follow a series of blows for the wind energy sector over the past year as company after company, including Shell, BP and Iberdrola, have scaled back investment plans.
The former chief executive of BP, who left the firm in 2005, also called for politicians to be honest about the cost to consumers of the government's ambition to generate 35% of the country's energy from green technologies by 2020.
But he stressed that the overall value of investment was good. “As well as reducing emissions, the net present value of most energy efficiency investments in our homes, offices and cars is positive,” he said.
The news came as reports claimed that the leaders of G8 nations are preparing to set a target to cut greenhouse gases 80% by 2050.
Source: Building

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