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    Boosting sustainable energy investment in Slovenia

    Boosting sustainable energy investment in Slovenia

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    •  Date: 16 April 2014

    The EIB and the Slovene Export and Development Bank (SID banka) are together set to energise sustainable investment. This will help deliver both economic and environmental benefits through some 70 000 MWh of energy savings and reduced CO2 emissions.

    “With the energy efficiency and renewable energies loan we will complement and upgrade existing measures in order to boost investment in this field,” SID banka’s President and CEO Sibil Svilan says. Such investments tend to pay out in the future, but also need to be affordable today. The EIB is providing EUR 50m to SID banka to help unlock much-needed funding for energy efficiency – particularly in buildings and for SMEs – and small-scale renewable energy in Slovenia.

    The majority of funds will be used to finance energy investments in buildings, which typically consume around 40% of overall energy in EU countries. Up to 8 500 buildings are expected to be refurbished to improve their energy efficiency, leading to an estimated reduction of 70 000 MWh of energy consumption. Using energy in better and more efficient ways also helps to cut CO2 emissions and reduce dependence on energy imports.

    Financial backing for renewable energy pioneers

    The loan builds on the established partnership between the EIB and SID banka, which has already successfully intermediated some EUR 1bn of funding for SMEs, as well as for projects in the automotive, knowledge economy, infrastructure and environment sectors.

    Among the beneficiaries of EIB funding channelled through SID banka is Sonel Ltd., one of Slovenia’s pioneers in the field of renewable energies. Its core business is photovoltaic energy generation, but it is also active in other fields, such as photothermics, heat pumps and energy-efficient renovation of buildings. Sonel also shares its knowledge in the area of green investment and offers international business counselling and training.

    When the company sought to build a new solar power plant in Odranci, it was granted a long-term loan, benefiting from funding made available thanks to the SID-EIB cooperation. Today, the solar power plant, with a peak capacity of around 50 kW, produces an estimated 50 000 kWh each year, helping to reap CO2 savings in the order of 36 tonnes. This is only a small-scale plant, but it is nevertheless able to cater for the electricity demands of around 13 households on a year-round base in Slovenia.

    70 000 MWh

    Up to 8 500 buildings are expected to be refurbished to improve their energy efficiency, leading to an estimated reduction of 70 000 MWh of energy consumption.

    “The solar power plant in Odranci was connected to the grid in December 2012. In 2013, its power production already exceeded expectations. This is something we are very pleased about,” says Andreja Knez, manager at Sonel.

    It is businesses like these that the EIB is seeking to support with the new funding. The Bank has given particular technical assistance to SID banka, for which financing individual households or housing associations involved in these schemes is a new area. The EIB provided expert consultant support to SID in the preparation of a list of eligible investments for smaller schemes and the related reporting procedures, as well as application guidelines for its employees.

    “In its cooperation with SID banka, the EIB ensures that the benefits of it providing loans on favourable terms reach eligible promoters,” says EIB Vice-President László Baranyay.

    These investments will support Slovenia’s National Energy Efficiency Action Plan and EU-wide objectives of cutting energy consumption by one fifth by 2020. In the framework of the Joint IFI Action Plan for Growth in Central and South Eastern Europe, the Bank has stepped up its lending in the region to improve access to long-term finance and mitigate the effects of the financial crisis.

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