Ireland to reap benefits from €84m European renewable energy fund


The European Investment Bank has announced plans to pump €84m into a European-wide renewable energy development, including Ireland.

Ireland is set to receive significant international help from the world’s largest international financier for renewable energy in its aim to meet future targets to cut carbon emission, albeit it not by 2020.

On the 6th December, the European Investment Bank (EIB) announced that it was intending to back renewable energy investment across Europe in cooperation with Dublin-based infrastructure developer NTR to the tune of €84m.

Dubbed the NTR Renewable Energy Income Fund II, it will provide long-term equity financing for more than 25 years for the development of small- and medium-sized renewable energy projects following a lack of access to long-term financing.

Over the course of the fund’s lifetime, it will support between 15 and 20 different renewable energy products representing approximately 700MW in power generation. The €84m EIB financing represents its first ever backing for investment through an Irish collective asset-management vehicle, with Ireland set to be one of the biggest beneficiaries of the fund.

Timely announcement

Last year, the EIB provided €4.4bn for investment in renewable energy projects worldwide and in May confirmed €79.5m backing for the Oweninny windfarm in Co Mayo.

“As world climate leaders [are] meeting in Poland to discuss implementation of the Paris Agreement, the new €84m support for renewable energy projects across Europe by NTR demonstrates the EU bank’s firm commitment to accelerating investment crucial for tackling climate change,” said Andrew McDowell, vice-president of the EIB.

“Scaling up investment by harnessing support of institutional investment is crucial for global ambitions to accelerate climate action.”

The Minister for Communications, Climate Action and the Environment Richard Bruton, TD, added: “Being a follower means the final costs of adjustment are much higher and opportunities much lower or completely lost.

“Harnessing clean energy is essential to this ambition, and stimulating private sector funding of renewable energy projects can help drive down consumer costs and increase the pace and scale of transition to low-carbon technologies.”