Co-op to increase renewables funding

The Co-operative Bank plans to lend £200m to renewable energy projects in 2010.

The Manchester-based bank also said it will expand its UK specialist renewables team and create a new Scottish-based team.

In 2007 the Bank ring-fenced £400m specifically to fund renewable energy and carbon reduction projects. It has since built considerable expertise in supporting development of renewable technologies such as onshore wind, hydro, biomass and combined heat & power systems.

The bank typically lends on projects with a capital value up to £25m. The Co-operative said interest is growing in renewable energy, particularly from community groups and smaller developers eager to utilise the Government's new Feed-In Tariffs.

Richard Wilcox, head of renewables at the Co-operative Bank, said: "Renewable energy is a growth area that is becoming increasingly attractive due to government incentives aimed at kick starting the market which will hopefully lead to the country achieving its long-term carbon reduction targets."

Among the projects the bank has already funded is Logan Gill Hydroelectric's £1.24m 450kw river high head hydro scheme in the Lake District.

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