The European Investment Bank recently declared it is investing up to €62 million (US$69m) in a renewable energy fund under a target to put a quarter of its lending towards tackling climate change.
The EIB is channelling money through the SUSI Partners into wind and solar power and the Swiss investment firm has so far financed 170MW of clean electricity capacity across five EU member states.
EU climate commissioner, Miguel Arias Canete hailed the deal as “an example of local engagement to transform the energy system” which forms part of an EU-wide investment programme, which aims to mobilise €315 billion of public and private money in three years.
Although climate analysts welcome renewables funding, they warn European Commission still supports low value, polluting projects.
According to the latest unaudited figures, it is more than a third of the way to target, with €20bn of public lending and nearly €100bn from the private sector. Of that, €4bn of EU funds has gone into energy.
Still, a fraction of the €2 trillion the Commission estimates is needed in electricity networks, energy efficiency and clean energy by 2030. Also, not all the approved proposals have been low carbon. For example this summer, the EIB has injected nearly €80m into a Dutch motorway project and €50m to upgrade struggling French steel works.
Think-tank E3G is urging the Commission to stop financing polluting sectors.