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10 October 2013

UK firms struggling to get green finance

Businesses wishing to invest in green technologies need more help from government to access finance or the country risks missing carbon targets, according to a survey by Siemens Industry and the Energy Institute. The survey found that businesses are struggling to get the cash needed to invest in energy efficiency projects.

In the new poll of more than 300 senior energy specialists, 88% said banks and the financial sector are either not interested or have provided “little feedback”. Only one in ten firms had “positive feedback” but less than 1% said they received financial help for green technologies. Only a third (33%) of those polled think it is possible for Britain to meet its 2050 targets to reduce emissions by 80% while 55% believe the target will not be met.

Stephen Barker, Head of Energy Efficiency at Siemens Industry said although the Government has launched initiatives such as the Green Investment Bank (GIB) to help businesses, he believes the “effectiveness of these measures is limited” and there is currently a “critical gap” in the delivery of finance.

He added: “The root of the problem is that we are often too short term in our thinking. What businesses need is access to affordable credit to allow them to make these types of investment, which can be capital intensive in the short term – but in the long term there is a reward of much lower energy costs which can transform the profitability of the manufacturing sector. There is still an issue that end users need to engage more with the opportunities that energy efficiency offers.”

A new rule for all UK incorporated companies to include a report on their greenhouse gas emissions in their annual directors’ report kicked in last week.

 

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