EBRD to fund sustainable energy projects worth €25 billion over next three years

By Sergiy Grytsenko

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The EBRD is boosting its efforts to improve energy efficiency and deal with the threat of climate change with new investment in projects worth up to €25 billion over the next three years.

The  next phase (60KB - PDF) of the Bank’s successful Sustainable Energy Initiative (SEI) aims to deliver an annual cut in carbon emissions in its countries of operations as large as 32 million tonnes.

The Initiative’s third stage will build on the substantial achievements of its first six years in financing energy efficiency and renewable energy.

But it will also respond to the intensifying challenges of energy security and the uncertain financial and economic context for the region as it faces the long-term consequences of global warming.

The Bank’s expansion into the southern and eastern Mediterranean also presents it with opportunities to share its operational, financial and policy expertise with new countries.

“The EBRD has established a strong track record in energy efficiency financing with a particular focus on the private sector and on achieving results on the ground in 29 countries,” said Josué Tanaka, its Managing Director for Energy Efficiency and Climate Change.

“This experience is relevant not only to the expanding region of operations of the EBRD to reduce the impact of rising energy prices and to boost the competitiveness of enterprises, but to the scaling-up of financing to address climate change,” he added.

“As the global community works on addressing the climate change challenge, the EBRD experience with SEI provides a set of effective financing instruments to work with governments and the private sector to boost energy efficiency and renewable energy,” Mr Tanaka said.

The next phase in SEI represents a significant expansion of its objectives to reduce energy waste and greenhouse gas emissions, first launched in 2006.

While many of the countries in the EBRD region remain some of the world’s most inefficient users of energy, they also offer some of the best potential for cost-effective CO2 mitigation.

The EBRD’s work in the field of sustainable energy last year financed 111 operations and accounted for almost 30 per cent of its total 2011 investments.

Over the new phase of SEI the EBRD aims for a financing target of €4.5 to €6.5 billion from its own funds, with a total project value of up to €25 billion for the period 2012 to 2014.

The target range for the annual reduction of carbon emission is 26 to 32 million tonnes of CO2.

Since its inception, the Initiative has pioneered a business model that drives investment in commercially viable projects at market rates. The approach champions the private sector as an agent for change in sustainable energy investments.

Overall, its investments in the field have financed energy efficiency projects in the industrial, energy, transport and financial sectors, in supporting the growth of renewable energy and in developing carbon markets and the institutional framework for sustainable energy.

Since its launch in 2006, cumulative SEI financing has reached over €9 billion in over 450 projects for a total project value of €46 billion. Two-thirds of the financing has been in the private sector.

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