New York's first bank dedicated to boosting the deployment of clean technologies is set to open in early 2014, after the state's Governor confirmed an initial $210 million of funding.
The NY Green Bank is eventually expected to be capitalized with $1 billion, investing alongside the private sector in renewable energy, energy efficiency and other low carbon technology projects.
On Thursday last week, Governor Andrew Cuomo confirmed an initial $210 million backing for the Green Bank, $165m of which is from unallocated government funds, such as surcharges in utility bills that the state already collects for energy-efficiency programs, and $45 million from the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative emissions trading scheme.
He said the bank was now on track to open for business and start offering its first loans and other financial products in early 2014.
Cuomo unveiled plans for the Green Bank in January this year, in a move designed to boost lending to green projects, while reducing the need for clean energy subsidies in the long-term. Over the next 20 years, it could potentially increase the amount of private capital available to clean energy markets tenfold.
"With this funding we will attract greater investment in New York, accelerate clean energy deployment, and modernize our grid," Governor Cuomo said in a statement. "Working hand-in-hand with the private sector, the New York Green Bank will also promote job growth, improve air quality, and provide New Yorkers with greater choice and value for their money."
The news was welcomed by the Environmental Defense Fund (EDF), which described the launch of the bank as a pioneering step forward for the region's green economy.
"Governor Cuomo's launch of a Green Bank places New York among the first few states in the country to pioneer a market-based approach to tackling climate change," said EDF President Fred Krupp.
"The move will encourage much-needed private sector investment in renewable energy and energy efficiency, create jobs, and ensure a more resilient and sustainable energy infrastructure."
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