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Bioenergy included in UK Government’s £40m Clean Growth Fund

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The UK Government has launched a new £40 million (€44.4 million) Clean Growth Fund to boost green start-ups, including biofuel and bioenergy projects.

The Clean Growth Fund will contribute towards the UK’s plans to reach net zero by 2050 and will be accessible to UK companies driving green technology across the waste, transport, power and building energy efficiency sectors.

Examples of the types of projects that could access the fund include energy storage and smart grid systems to bolster resilience in the power system; renewable heating and ventilation technologies across homes and commercial buildings; biofuels and bioenergy systems.

With £20 million (€22.2 million) of government investment matched by CCLA, one of the UK’s largest charity find managers, the fund could reach £100 million (€111 million) by autumn 2021 through private sector fundraising. UK Business Secretary, Alok Sharma, said: “The need for innovative and ambitious ideas across green industries has never been greater.

“I am pleased that with the help of this fund, promising clean growth start-ups will be able to step up to accelerate the UK recovery, while supporting our path to net zero by 2050.

“This pioneering new fund will enable innovative low-carbon solutions to be scaled-up at speed, helping to drive a green and resilient economic recovery.”

Investments via the Clean Growth Fund will be made to companies at early stage, seed or Series A rounds in ‘exciting, innovative, clean growth start-ups’. The fund will invest in businesses with a prototype product or service demonstrating a ‘clear contribution’ to reducing greenhouse gas emissions together with ‘compelling evidence’ of market demand.

“We decided it was time for CCLA to invest in the very best early stage technologies to support the UK net zero objective,” commented James Bevan, chief investment officer at the CCLA. “In partnership with BEIS, we have developed a solution, the Clean Growth Fund. Through this fund, we now look forward to working with other investors to support these exciting young UK companies aiming to reduce carbon emissions.”

The Clean Growth Fund is now seeking wider private sector investment and aims to balance its portfolio across clean growth sectors. Investment parameters focus on clean growth technologies, hardware, products and services in sectors including power generation, energy networks, waste, buildings management, industries, bioenergy and alternative fuels.

Beverley Gower Jones, managing partner of CGIM, which will be managing the fund, said: “The Clean Growth Fund is a significant boost to the country’s low carbon sector and is a clear signal from the UK Government that new and innovative technologies will be crucial to deliver net zero and the clean growth agenda. We want to hear from the very best clean technology businesses from across the UK.”