The European Investment Bank (EIB) will invest EUR 25 million in the DIF Renewable Energy Fund focused on the provision of equity financing for renewable energy projects located in North-West Europe, primarily in the Netherlands, Belgium, France, Germany, Denmark and the UK. The financial agreement was signed by Torsten Gersfelt, EIB Vice President, Menno Witteveen, Managing Director, DIF and Jean-Pierre Sweerts, Managing Director, DIF Renewable Energy in the course of the 2007 EIB Forum devoted to the topic "Investing in Energy - Mastering Climate Change" taking place in Ljubljana on 27 – 28 September.
The DIF Fund, whose promoter is Koopan & Witteveen N.V., will target small to medium sized investments in the energy sector considered environmentally beneficial and contributing to the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions. Wind projects will be the main focus with other renewable energy projects (such as biomass, solar) being undertaken on a case-by-case basis.
Although the European renewable energy market is currently experiencing rapid growth, it is still in an early stage of development. The DIF Fund aims to facilitate progress in the renewable energies marketplace and to contribute to the EU’s commitment to raising the share of electricity production in the Union generated from renewable resources to 20 % in 2020.
The DIF Fund is expected to reach a total size of EUR 120 million. The operation is being implemented in the framework of the EIB’s Structured Finance Facility (SFF), an innovative financing solution that enables the Bank to support such priority projects bearing a higher lending risk than would traditionally be assumed by the EIB.
This Fund in targeting projects in the field of renewable energy will complement the DIF PPP Fund for small and medium sized infrastructure projects in which EIB has invested EUR 15 million out of a total capital commitment of EUR 121 million.
The promotion of sustainable, competitive and secure energyis a key policy objective of the European Union. As the EU’s long-term financing institution, the European Investment Bank (EIB) made support for Europe’s energy needs a top lending priority in 2007, targeting the increase of renewable energy, energy efficiency and energy saving, research and development in energy, and security and diversification of supplies. The EIB has set itself a minimum annual lending target of EUR 800 million for renewable energy projects.
Since the start of 2006 to date, the EIB has provided loans in excess of EUR 6 billion for energy investment projects within the EU, of which EUR 456 million in 2006 and EUR 901 million in 2007 benefited renewable energy projects.
The 2007 EIB Forum to take place in Ljubljana (Slovenia) on 27-28 September will look at different world energy scenarios, assess their economic and environmental sustainability and discuss the political choices to be made. Energy supplies and the full spectrum of energy sources, from fossil and nuclear to renewable energy, will be considered as well as energy demand in major sectors such as the car and steel industry, energy consumption for heating and lighting, and the potential for greater energy efficiency. On-line information on the EIB Forum can be accessed on www.eib.org/forum.