EIB Commits $5.46 Billion for Wind Energy

Wind turbines in a field in Germany

(Credit: Unsplash)

by | Dec 15, 2023

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The European Investment Bank (EIB) board of directors has approved a $5.46 billion initiative aimed at supporting wind energy equipment manufacturing companies. Additionally, it has agreed to add $21.83 billion to finance clean energy, transportation, and other regional development projects throughout Europe and worldwide.

The investment scheme is expected to support installed wind generation capacity by 32 gigawatts. It also follows an earlier commitment from the EU Bank that provided $49.12 billion in financing for the REPowerEU plan, which is meant to accelerate decarbonization for Europe by supporting the manufacturing of net-zero technologies.

The $21.83 billion will support improved renewable energy generation and distribution, back business investment made towards a green transition, and strengthen sustainable transport through electric vehicle infrastructure and added rail transport, among other projects.

Increased Financing Needed for Clean Energy Transition

At the conclusion of COP28, world leaders committed to transition away from the fossil fuel era. Their final statement also emphasized a massive investment gap, explaining that $100 billion per year in climate financing will be required to achieve national climate plans.

EIB President Werner Hoyer said the decision to transition away from fossil fuels was welcome, but long overdue, also emphasizing that the EIB’s new financing represents action towards such a transition.

“Today’s Board decisions highlight the EU bank’s commitment to deploying the full range of its resources in support of the clean energy revolution,” said Hoyer. “Words matter, but they are not enough. We urgently need action and actual results. Climate depends on it, and so do Europe’s competitiveness, innovation, and energy security. There is no trade-off between these goals. On the contrary, we cannot achieve any one of them without pursuing them all.”

Investment May Return Wind Energy Development to Required Capacity

According to the EIB, improving access to finance is crucial to successfully carrying out the European Wind Power Action Plan, which claims that global wind capacity will need to reach at least 329 GW each year until 2030 to meet net zero emissions by 2050. Meanwhile, the wind industry has faced price spikes in raw materials, interest rate increases, and a need to provide upfront guarantees to secure contracts. The Action Plan states that $6.55 billion of investment in manufacturing capacity is needed to address these obstacles.

The EU has experienced success in expanding wind energy capacity — in 2021, wind accounted for 37% of its total electricity generated. The new financing may help the sector surmount its current challenges and continue to support a rapid transition to carbon neutrality.

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