A new plan has been unveiled today for a £74 million green energy project in Speyside, which will be able to power 20,000 homes and and also provide heat for Macallan, one of the world's best known whiskey distilleries. One the outputs of the new plant will be steam, which the distillery will be using to heat their buildings. It has been said the carbon savings made from the plant will be equivalent to taking 18,000 cars off the road.
The project is being headed up by John Laing and UK Green Investment Bank, and is set to create around 120 jobs during the construction process. An announcement from Vince Cable, who recently spoken out against Scottish independence saying that the UK was better united, said,
"With £3.8bn of funding, the UK Green Investment Bank has been set up to help businesses make the transition to a green economy right across the country. This investment in Speyside will not only help secure jobs, boost a vital industry and support the local supply chain but also generate renewable energy for homes in Scotland."
Chief Secretary to the Treasury, Danny Alexander, also praised the plans, emphasising how good it is for Scotland's economic future. This is good news for Scotland. Currently, the whiskey industry employs around 10,000 people across the country, and being able to power a significant number of homes with clean, green energy is something which many countries should be attempting to mimic. It's also great news for Britain as a whole, and is a practical example of just how varied and creative we can be when it comes to power generation.
"This is exactly the type of financial innovation needed to support the ongoing growth of the UK’s green economy."
One of the reasons that many political bodies are unable to think outside of the box is money, and they main objective is to make energy 'investable' for the future, attracting business and boosting economies. This is something which is now beginning to bear fruit - slowly.
The Green Investment Bank have also added to their currently soaring profile, having recently also refinanced an offshore wind project with Japan's Marubeni Corporation. A representative of GIB, said of the move, "
"This is an important transaction in the development of offshore wind in the UK. In refinancing part of our 50% equity stake in the Westermost Rough project – jointly held with Marubeni - we have brought in a number of new, long-term financiers to the sector. Increasing the number of long-term debt providers in offshore wind is critical in both ensuring there is sufficient capital to finance new construction projects and lowering the cost of capital for the sector. This is exactly the type of financial innovation needed to support the ongoing growth of the UK’s green economy."
GIB are a young banking company, having formed in 2012. Since then they've grown to be the single largest active investor in the UK offshore wind market. So far it's made 5 investments totalling £642 million, and it's plans are to up that over a billion in the coming months and years. The UK also celebrated the installation of its first 6 MW wind turbine over the weekend, having erected the first of 35 6 MW turbines at the Westermost Rough offshore wind farm in the North Sea - again, with thanks to the Green Investment Bank.
Foreign investment in the UK energy sector is also continuing to rise. Foreign investors placed their money in 61 British renewable energy projects last year, confirming the sector as one of the most attractive industries for overseas investment, a new government report has shown. UK Trade and Industry yesterday said 2013/14 was a stellar year for foreign investment, after a new report showed the UK attracted the highest number of inward investment projects since records began in the 1980's.
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