Renewable energy legal experts, from nationwide law firm Hugh James, are delighted to hear that RBS and NatWest have bucked the trend to shy away from funding renewable energy initiatives. The two banks announced yesterday that they intend to create a £50m fund specifically for this sector.
The cash will be primarily available to agricultural businesses who are mainly looking to install wind turbines and solar panels. However, funds may also be available for hydro energy and other technologies to reduce their impact on the environment and reduce their soaring energy costs. The fund will also be made available to SMEs.
The Hugh James energy team welcomed the announcement, by Ian Burrow, Head of Agriculture and Renewable Energy at RBS, that the two banks have created a team of 200 nationwide renewable energy experts. This new team will be able to help customers deal with issues surrounding planning, completing feasibility studies and making environmental impact assessments to help speed the process up of application. All members of the new team have been trained on the technical, legal and financial considerations specific to renewable energy.
According to research undertaken by the two banks, 33 per cent of agriculture businesses want to deploy renewable energy to reduce farm running costs and carbon emissions. NatWest and RBS said the new fund would also contribute to the UK’s target of 15 per cent of energy coming from renewables by 2020.
Ioan Prydderch, Head of Hugh James’ construction, energy & projects team said “We have been waiting for a financial institution to step up to the mark with identifying renewable energy as being of paramount importance. We applaud NatWest and RBS for their commitment to this sector and to their pledge to help UK businesses switch to a more sustainable way of meeting their energy needs”.