Going solar in the Adriatic
In 2013, Privredna banka Zagreb (PBZ) funded rooftop solar systems on the island of Lošinj in the Adriatic Sea. These are producing clean, emissionfree electricity for around 100 households. PBZ is part of the local partner institution network, through which the Green for Growth Fund, Southeast Europe (GGF) is supporting renewable energy development in Croatia.
From rooftops to renewablesThe solar energy solution, developed by a client of PBZ in collaboration with a local hotel chain, involved installing solar panels on leased rooftops. It is a true win-win scenario. The optimal location combined with good solar radiation ensures dependable returns for PBZ’s client. Making use of existing hotel rooftops allows for easy, environmentally-friendly installation, since this requires less infrastructure and materials. Ground-mounted systems, on the other hand, take up valuable land for the solar array. Furthermore, the Croatian islands have significantly higher irradiation levels due to the mirror effect of the sea.
For the hotel chain, the venture is a win because it contributes to overall profitability by generating additional revenue, without upfront investments or operating expenditures. When the lease expires, the hotel chain may also benefit from owning the plant directly and using sun-generated power to cover its own needs. This type of arrangement could prove especially attractive: in the summer months, for instance, the hotel’s energy demand matches daytime peak power generation.
The Green for Growth Fund’s long-term loan ensures appropriate matching of PBZ’s assets and liabilities, providing the final necessary link for enabling the greening of a beautiful corner of the Adriatic. Working with partner institutions on the ground, the Fund is playing a pivotal role in tapping the full potential for power generation from renewable energy sources.
Partnering for green growth in Southeast Europe
The Green for Growth Fund is an example of how the EIB teams up with others in order to attract a multiple in investment for climate action. This innovative public-private partnership provides financing, including loans, equity and technical assistance, for sustainable energy projects in Southeast Europe, including Turkey, and the European Eastern Neighbourhood Region. Initiated by the EIB and German KfW Bankengruppe, it has attracted donors, including the European Investment Fund (EIF), as custodian for the European Commission, and the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ). With the EIB and KfW, a number of international financial institutions that have invested in the Fund include the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), IFC (a member of the World Bank Group), FMO (the Netherlands Finance Company) and the Development Bank of Austria (OeEB) alongside private investors, such as German private bank Sal. Oppenheim and the asset management firm Finance in Motion. As at 30 June 2014 the Fund had invested more than EUR 185m in loans in its partner institutions, resulting in more than 11 000 sub-loans for financing energy efficiency and small-scale renewable energy projects.