European Investment Bank invests in French renewables

French renewables are set to benefit from EIB investments Photo: EIB French renewables are set to benefit from EIB investments Photo: EIB

The European Investment Bank (EIB) has announced the launch of a programme which will commit €750m to finance the implementation of renewable energy projects throughout France between 2014 and 2016.

The EIB describes the programme, entitled "France Renewables", as a major financing operation geared to supporting projects contributing to climate change mitigation. Selected projects will involve the development of wind, photovoltaic, hydraulic and geothermal energy. Because of the EIB’s triple-A rating, the public or private sector beneficiaries of this loan will have access to favourable financing terms.

The financing operation is being implemented in partnership with Société Générale Corporate & Investment Banking, Crédit Agricole Group (Caisses régionales de Crédit Agricole and Crédit Agricole Leasing & Factoring) and the BPCE Group (Banque Populaire, Caisse d'Epargne, Crédit coopératif, Natixis SA and Natixis Energeco), all selected by the EIB for their expertise in energy project financing and their ability to ensure programmes comply with national and EU environmental legislation concerning biodiversity.

The different loans granted by the EIB will meet 50% of the financing requirements of each selected project with an investment cost of less than €50m. The partner banks will be in charge of selecting the projects and structuring the finance.

EIB Vice-President Philippe de Fontaine Vive welcomed this commitment: “Supporting the energy transition is one of our top priorities. This is why we are financing with our trusted partners concrete projects that have a direct impact on sustainable development and people’s daily lives. This is how Europe works: practical action in the heart of our regions to ensure a successful energy transition”.

By 2020, the European Union is set to be investing heavily in financing its energy transition. It is for this reason that the EIB has been stepping up its climate action, devoting €19bn, or 26% of its total lending to this objective in 2013.

France is one of the chief beneficiaries receiving just over €1bn in new finance in this area in 2013. The drive is continuing in 2014 in the context of the current economic climate and the growing demand for financing from project promoters.

By Peter Barker 

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