The UK's new "green" bank has been launched with a pledge that it will turn a profit and attract private investment despite turmoil in international markets.
The Green Investment Bank (GIB), funded with £3 billion of Government money, was described as an essential part of wider plans, including the coalition's Energy Bill.
Bank chief executive Shaun Kingsbury told an audience of industry figures his aims for the new institution at the formal launch in Edinburgh, where it is headquartered.
"The financial markets are in turmoil. They're finding it's difficult to provide capital, but more importantly they're finding it difficult to provide the right type of capital," he said.
"I'd like to stress that the Green Investment Bank is a for-profits bank. To take one message away from today, it is that one. As a custodian of the taxpayers' money, we understand the responsibilities to the public and the Government."
He was joined at the launch by Business Secretary Vince Cable, Energy Secretary Edward Davey and bank chairman Lord Smith of Kelvin.
Mr Cable announced that the first scheme to benefit from the fund is a project in the north east of England that will generate energy from waste. About £8 million will go to the construction of an anaerobic digestion (AD) plant at Teesside, the first of six planned over the next five years.
This will be matched with a further £8 million from the private sector, according to the Government. The GIB will also invest £5 million to fit manufacturer Kingspan's UK industrial facilities with systems that will reduce its energy consumption by 15%.
Mr Davey told the audience at Heriot-Watt University Conference Centre that green energy is a key part of the UK economy. The Energy Bill will lay the groundwork but the bank is necessary to attract money, he said.
"Our reforms will give investors the certainty they need to proceed with these new clean energy projects," he said. "I think these investments will result in jobs in every part of the United Kingdom."