A business and financial adviser has called for more players to become involved in delivering green investment to boost Scotland’s economy.
Grant Thornton UK believes that, while the Green Investment Bank (GIB) is starting to make a difference, the sector needs a greater diversity of funding sources to allow Scotland to meet its investment targets.
Nathan Goode, Grant Thornton UK’s head of energy, environment and sustainability, said the changing economic and financial landscape was forcing businesses from all sectors to think differently about growth and funding for expansion.
“Having the GIB headquartered in Edinburgh presents a great opportunity for Scottish business, but it’s important to remember that the bank is not, and was never intended to be, broad enough and deep enough for the entire low-carbon market.
“It needs to be supplemented by other organisations to increase liquidity in targeted sectors, provide different profiles of risk capital, finance non-targeted sectors and offer multiple routes to market.
“Part of the GIB’s purpose is to encourage other players to come into the market, but it is limited in amount of funding it has and the risks it can take and needs others to take up the slack.”
Mr Goode described the GIB as having the potential to act as a catalyst for future investments, but believed this was only achievable if business and political leaders moved away from traditional models of practice and worked more collaboratively and creatively.
He added: “We are now looking at a much more complex and mixed financial future. On the plus side, as some technologies become increasingly proven and cost-effective, the sector is beginning to attract mainstream finance providers, Scale of finance, on the other hand, will continue to be a big issue, as will accessing vital growth capital.”