Green energy boost hailed

A £16m plan to develop a green energy plant in the Tees Valley has gained top-level backing – and it could be good news for Hartlepool in the long term.

Business Secretary Vince Cable declared support for an energy-from-waste scheme on the day he launched the UK Green Investment Bank plc (UK GIB).

The plan, to give financial support to the new Wilton-based Anaerobic Digestion (AD) plant was one of two new projects to get the first investment from UK GIB.

Dr Cable revealed that UK GIB was committing an initial £8m to the Tees Valley scheme. This will attract a further £8m of matching private sector funding.

The construction of an AD plant at Teesside is the first of six planned over the next five years, making it the largest single AD project in the UK.

The investment, made through fund manager Greensphere Capital, is part of a £80m investment programme by UK GIB in small waste projects.

Dr Cable said the Green Investment Bank would “place the green economy at the heart of our recovery and position the UK in the forefront of the drive to develop clean energy.”

But potentially, there’s further good news for the Tees Valley to come from the announcement as the UK GIB scheme will make £3 billion of investment available for “priority sectors” such as offshore wind – and Hartlepool is bidding to become a hub in that area.

The Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change Edward Davey, who was also at the UK GIB launch, said: “The Green Investment Bank will help attract the capital required to allow the green economy to blossom, encouraging investors to market and kick-starting low-carbon and energy efficiency projects.

“In combination with our electricity market reforms, there will be lasting economic benefit as a result, with new expertise and jobs created.”