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Green Investment Bank

Volume 564: debated on Thursday 13 June 2013

The state aid approval obtained in relation to the green investment bank enables it to make investments on commercial terms across the following green sectors: offshore wind; waste processing and recycling and energy from waste; non-domestic energy efficiency; the green deal; biofuels for transport; biomass power; carbon capture and storage; marine energy; and renewable heat.

I thank the Secretary of State for that answer, and I congratulate him on getting the bank operational so quickly. However, he will know that under the terms of the EU state aid clearance a number of low-carbon technologies were excluded, including nuclear supply chain and solar, and that carbon capture and storage was regarded as low priority. Does he have any intention of going back to the EU and asking for the clearance to be amended, so that the bank can more closely follow the purpose set out in the Enterprise and Regulatory Reform Act 2013?

I am grateful to the hon. Gentleman for acknowledging the progress we have made. Our first priority is to ensure that the institution makes good use of the £3 billion of Government capital that is now being deployed alongside private capital. We are making good progress in that respect—something in the order of £700 million has been committed. He raised the matter of a wider scope for the bank. He anticipates the answer; we would have to go back to the European Commission and seek state aid approval. I do not currently have any plans to do that.