'Green Investment Bank' plan for clean tech projects

Russel Norman
Russel Norman
The Green Party says it would set up a $120 million "Green Investment Bank" to fund green tech projects, with the money to come from hiking oil and gas royalties.

"The Green Investment Bank will be an enduring, government-owned, for-profit bank partnering with private sector to fund new projects ranging from renewable energy and biofuel production to new clean technologies", Greens Co-leader Russel Norman said.

"Considerable new investment opportunities lie in renewable energy plants, solar panel installations, energy efficient retrofits, the development and production of significant volumes of biofuels, and new clean technologies."

The party pointed to PricewaterhouseCoopers estimates that clean technology could be worth between $7.5 billion and $22 billion to the New Zealand economy by next year.

"We want to ensure it's on the higher end of those forecasts", said Dr Norman.

Dr Norman said the bank would cost about $120 million over the next three years, "and will be paid for by raising oil mining royalty rates to those charged internationally".

"By ending fossil fuel subsidies and raising the overall tax take from oil companies from 46 per cent to the global average of 70 per cent, we'll have more than enough to cover this initial outlay of capital" the party said in supporting material released this morning.

Dr Norman said the bank would act as a catalyst for private sector investment into the green economy rather than competing with it.

It would seek private sector capital for clean-tech investments "until a time when these investments become mainstream commercial".

The bank would apply a "commercial filter" to investment decisions" but that filter would be "more flexible that the private sector equivalent, as the bank has a public policy purpose".

It would target a rate of return at or above the government's bond rate and would be run independently from the Government like the Superannuation Fund.


Building a Green Bank

* Year One: An independent working group appointed to determine the final details of the venture.

* Year Two: The bank is set up, and with indicative costs from similar projects in Australia suggesting a cost of $15m to $20m.

* Year Three: The bank opens a "government line of credit" of up to $100 million, initially in the "priority area" of carbon reduction and energy and resource efficiency.


- By Adam Bennett of the New Zealand Herald

Casting stones

Those that like it here are welcome to stay. Others may feel free to leave. To stay and run the place down is a waste of time for us and them.

Back to?

Back to living in slums? Many of us never got out of them. So much for globalisation.

Seesaw

I agree with Velcro. Also noted is the way "Green" assertions have gone from "we are running out of oil" 30 years ago to "we have too much oil" now days. Both advocating regression to a lower quality of life, de-globalisation and less consumption which would send the newly middle class Chinese and Indian populations (and very possibly us) back to the slums.

Balancing risk and return

Not so, Sparrowhawk. Oil exploration is all about balancing perceived risk with perceived return. If the return suddenly reduces in an area, then the explorers will walk. It really is as simple as that. It has happened many times before elsewhere, even in the North Sea. However, fear not. There has been and will be little exploration off Dunedin. So Dunedinites can slumber on as their city continues it's path into genteel economic depression and population decline. Already smaller than Hamilton, Tauranga and Napier-Hastings. Queenstown is now the real economic centre of Otago

Rubbish

The oil industry will stay where the oil is, never mind about that. It's time we stopped running scared and taking the crumbs and being left with the detrius.

Green investment yes, but not by the Greens

The Green Party has a proven track record of losing money. They invested in Windflow which lost 96% of it's share value. The required investment in Green technology should be done by those who have the expertise, not the politicians.

Green bank

Guaranteed not to work. Funds come from increased royalties on oil and gas exploration. That should ensure that investment in NZ exploration
falls, hence there will be limited funds. Existing fields will die so existing royalty streams will reduce over time. So less cash into state coffers, hence less to spend on health, education, welfare etc. So the burden falls again on the NZ taxpayer to prop up these sectors and also to prop up a green investment bank which will find it difficult to impossible to locate green projects which have a chance of repaying loans at
commercial rates. Call this thing Subsidycorp. What a rubbish idea. [Abridged]

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