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green business

UK investment in clean energy more than doubled in the second quarter to a three-year high of $3.6bn (£2.3bn) helped by a giant windfarm five miles off the east coast from Skegness.

The 75-turbine Lincs Wind Farm, a joint venture between Centrica, Siemens and Dong Energy, is expected to begin generating electricity in the second half of 2012 and accounted for $1.6bn of the investment in UK clean energy in the three months to July, according to new data from Bloomberg New Energy Finance.

A $332.17m investment in the Grimsby Bioethanal Plant, a facility operated by Vireol that will convert wheat into about half a million litres of ethanol a day when it's up and running, is also among the largest clean energy investments in the UK in the period, Bloomberg said.

The jump in second-quarter investment – which nonetheless lags well behind the record $5bn in both the second and third quarters of 2009 – will cheer the CBI industry association, which said an increase in spending on green business could help lift Britain out of recession.

In comments that put himself at odds with George Osborne, the CBI director-general, John Cridland, said last week that the choice between "going green or going for growth is a false one. With the right policies in place, green business will be a major pillar of our future growth".