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Treasury obstructs Coalition’s ‘green bank’ for investment in wind farms and nuclear power stations

Treasury officials are set to kill off the Government’s dream of creating a ‘green bank’ to help fund billions of pounds of investment in wind farms and nuclear power stations.

The Government has already agreed to give £1 billion to the bank and has earmarked a further £1 billion from asset sales to boost its funds.

Energy Secretary Chris Huhne believes the bank is vital if the energy industry is to renew itself as Britain switches to a low-carbon economy.

But the Treasury, which is fighting to reduce the deficit, is concerned that this bank would increase the national debt at precisely the wrong time.

Instead, officials want the creation of a ‘Green Fund’, which would merely dispense loans and grants.

Faced with this powerful Whitehall opposition, it is understood that Huhne is arguing strongly for a ‘third way’ that would involve the bank acting as a fund initially before changing, later on when finances are not so stretched, into a Green Bank.

At that stage, nationalised banks such as Royal Bank of Scotland would be encouraged to take part in the project.

A final decision is expected to be made in April.