European Investment Bank has announces funding for solar, EV and other projects in Belgium, Brazil, Chile, France, Italy, Luxembourg, Madagascar, Netherlands and North Macedonia.
As part of the EU’s Global Gateway project to improve global and regional connectivity in the digital, climate, transport, health, energy and education sectors, the EIB used the European Union-Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC) Summit of Heads of State and Government, to sign several loans to finance climate action projects.
It has also announced a range of sustainability project funding across Europe and financial support for infrastructure investment and sustainable developments such as solar micro-grids in Africa.
Chile: €300m for hydrogen industry and energy efficient housing
With its first ever residential mortgage-based finance for access to energy efficient housing outside the EU. The EIB has provided €200m to Banco del Estado de Chile for approximately 2,600 new housing units with improved energy efficiency standards.
The high standards will reduce energy consumption, increase thermal comfort and minimise low-and-middle-income household energy consumption and costs.
At the same time, the bank announced €100m for Chile’s growing renewable hydrogen industry under the Team Europe Renewable Hydrogen Funding Platform for Chile. The platform will support decarbonisation of Chile’s economy, create green jobs and help Europe meet its import demand for renewable hydrogen.
Gabriel Boric, president of the of the Republic of Chile, said: “Chile and the European Union have a solid and long-standing relationship of cooperation in the energy sector. We share the same vision on the urgency of climate action and are committed to meet the Paris agreement by achieving carbon neutrality by 2050. These initiatives will contribute to rise the ambition for a cleaner, more sustainable and just society.”
Brazil: Solar plants on homes and businesses
€300m has been announced in partnership with Banco Santander of Brazil and the Brazilian energy minister Ricardo Mourinho to support installation of around 600MW of solar capacity on homes and small businesses.
The project will help Brazil to hit its targets for raising the share of renewables in its energy mix and for its ten-year energy expansion plan. It will also mean that 80% of the EIB’s total funding support in Brazil is now linked to climate action and sustainability.
EU commissioner for international partnerships at the European Commission, Jutta Urpilainen, said, “Through the EU-Latin America and the Caribbean Global Gateway Investment Agenda, we are committed to work together to promote fair green and digital investment, and also help to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals.”
Madagascar: WeLight 120 solar mini-grids
€10m is being provided to WeLight Madagascar for the development of solar mini-grids across more than 100 villages currently not served by the grid.
Consisting of a solar power plant and energy storage system, as well as a distribution line and meter for each customer, a mini-grid can provide electricity 24 hours per day.
Romain de Villeneuve, managing director of WeLight Madagascar: “Since its creation in 2018, WeLight has made extraordinary progress, thanks to the many partners who trust it. Its original shareholders Axian, Norfund and Sagemcom, but also, more recently, renowned donors who have disbursed 19 million euros for a project of 120 additional villages in Madagascar: the European Investment Bank (EIB), Triodos Investment Management and EDFI ElectriFI. The adventure of rural electrification has only just begun!”
The move comes alongside an investment of €40m in Acre Impact Capital’s Export Finance Fund to support renewable power, health, food and water scarcity, sustainable cities and green transport across Africa.
Africa faces a major infrastructure financing gap in part because of the cost of financing across the continent. The new funding from the EIB will help Acre to leverage more private infrastructure investment by significantly reducing the cost of debt. Data on its financing suggests that it leverages private investment of more than five times its own.
Italy: €460m to Hera Group
The EIB has provided funding to support Hera Group to strengthen water, energy and the environment sectors in Italy.
The financing will be used to enhance the resilience of integrated water services, increase production of renewable energy, foster energy efficiency, decarbonisation and the circular economy, and bolster waste processing and collection, all in order to help Hera with climate and sustainability transition.
France: €300m for electric vehicle expansion
The EIB and ALD I LeasePlan will further accelerate the growth of ALD I LeasePlan’s hybrid and electric vehicle fleet in Europe. €300m investment by both companies will enable ALD | LeasePlan to co-financing a total of 15,000 vehicles over three years.
ALD I LeasePlan CFO Gilles Momper said: “This co-financing operation will contribute to further reduce carbon emissions in transport by accelerating the adoption and penetration of green vehicles in the European countries we are covering”.
North Macedonia: €100m SME green transition
In cooperation with the Development Bank of North Macedonia (DBNM) the EIB will provide €100m to boost the green transition of SMEs and mid-caps in the country. This will support low-carbon and climate-resilient growth in North Macedonia, in line with the European Union’s Economic and Investment Plan and the Green Agenda for the Western Balkans.
EIB vice-president Lilyana Pavlova said: “Improved access to finance for small and medium businesses and a stable banking sector are priorities to achieve economic growth, job creation and greater competitiveness. With this in mind, our credit line will support the country’s climate objectives and SME growth.”
Benelux: €300m for SME sustainability
ING and the European Investment Bank will make €600m available for new loans and leases to small and medium-sized enterprises in the Netherlands, Belgium and Luxembourg.
The EIB and ING will each put €300m into new loans and leases for entrepreneurs for sustainable investments. Previous such programmes have helped around 3,000 companies in the region.
Laurens de Vos, head of business banking at ING Netherlands said: “An ING survey earlier this year showed that Dutch companies want to accelerate on sustainability. As a bank, we would like to support them in this through financing. The significant interest rate discount obviously helps, and with this, entrepreneurs can invest in, for example, electric vehicles, sustainable forms of production and green buildings.”
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