If a community is looking for ways to become more sustainable and create local jobs, then they should look to invest in renewable energy, says the Co-operative Bank.
Whether it’s solar electricity, wind farms or hydro-power projects, renewable energy schemes can be a key factor in helping to boost local economies, and since 2007 the bank has lent in excess of half a billion pounds.
Of the 108 renewable energy projects the Co-operative has funded, the bank has prided itself on aiding the green energy ambitions of community groups, as well as landowners and small developers. By 2013, it estimates it will have lent something in the region of £1 billion.
“At a time when many communities are fighting for survival from the wider economic challenges, small to medium renewable energy schemes provide them an opportunity for communities to become sustainable, creating local jobs and diversifying local economies,” said Richard Wilcox, head of social banking at the Co-operative Bank.
Mr Wilcox added that current reviews of subsidies for renewable technologies need to be completed sooner rather than later, otherwise the rapid growth that we’ve so far seen in the uptake of green investments could “grind to a halt”.