Source: European Investment Bank
- The EIB has agreed to grant a €110 million loan to energy utility EVN AG for the deployment of 103 MW of renewable energy.
- Construction will be completed by early 2025.
- The operation qualifies as a green loan and contributes to the REPowerEU objective of eliminating dependence on fossil fuel imports.
The European Investment Bank (EIB) has agreed to support EVN AG’s investments in wind farms with an overall capacity of 103 MW, providing 72 650 Austrian households with green electricity. The project is expected to be completed by early 2025, and the €110 million loan to co-finance it is part of the EIB’s contribution to the REPowerEU plan.
EVN AG is a leading energy and environmental services provider in Lower Austria. It draws upon hydropower, wind and solar energy sources to produce clean electricity through its subsidiary evn naturkraft Erzeugungsges.m.b.H. Its portfolio powers the equivalent of around 590 000 households and averts around 1.1 million tonnes of CO2 emissions per year. This new investment programme will enable EVN to further increase its capacity in wind and solar energy.
The projects will contribute to the climate action goals of the Austrian government. Under its National Energy and Climate Plan (NECP), Austria aims to generate 100% of its electricity from renewable energy sources by 2030. The investment loan will be EVN’s fifth operation with the EIB and the first to qualify as a green loan.
The investment also contributes to the REPowerEU plan, which aims to eliminate the European Union’s dependence on Russian gas and oil. The EIB is supporting the initiative by raising its clean energy lending to unprecedented volumes, with an additional €30 billion committed on top of its regular operations.
EIB Vice-President Thomas Östros, who is responsible for overseeing projects in Austria, said: “We are proud to invest into accelerating the greening of power generation in Austria. We will continue to support the development and rollout of renewable energy technologies. EVN’s ambitious rollout programme is good news for the green energy transition, which is a top priority for the EIB as the EU climate bank.”
The EIB’s activities focus on the following priority areas: climate and environment, development, innovation and skills, small and medium-sized businesses, infrastructure and cohesion. The EIB works closely with other EU institutions to foster European integration, promote the development of the European Union and support EU policies in over 120 countries around the world.
The EIB and energy security: Over the past decade, the European Investment Bank Group has channelled more than €100 billion into the EU energy sector. These timely investments in energy efficiency, renewables, grids and storage are now helping Member States weather the crisis triggered by the abrupt cut in Russian gas supplies. In October 2022, the EIB’s Board of Directors decided to raise the Group’s clean energy financing volumes in support of the REPowerEU objective of ending Europe’s dependence on Russian fossil fuel imports. An additional €30 billion will be invested by 2027, on top of the EIB’s already robust support for clean energy. It is estimated that the REPowerEU package will mobilise an additional €115 billion in investment, thus making a substantial contribution to Europe’s energy independence and the EIB Group’s target to mobilise €1 trillion in climate finance this decade.
EVN AG is one of the largest utility companies in Austria (rated A1/stable by Moody’s and A+/stable by Scope) and provides its home market, Lower Austria, with electricity, natural gas, heat, drinking water and wastewater treatment, waste incineration and related services from a single supplier. The extended product range also includes the operation of networks for cable TV and telecommunications networks as well as the provision of various energy services for private and business customers and municipalities, and electricity generation, mainly from wind and solar power. Its energy business abroad includes the operation of electricity distribution networks and the supply of electricity to end customers in Bulgaria and North Macedonia, and natural gas in Croatia. Its energy business also includes electricity production in North Macedonia, Bulgaria and Albania. As sustainability is a cornerstone of the company, environmental business activities were established as a second strategic pillar. With over 100 environmental projects, EVN has extensive expertise in the planning and construction of drinking water supply and wastewater disposal plants, desalination plants and thermal waste and sewage sludge treatment plants. EVN’s €600 million annual investment programme is aligned with the company’s climate initiative (including CO2 reduction goals agreed with the Science Based Targets initiative) and focuses on network infrastructure (expansion of green electricity (networks and substations) as well as transformer stations), renewable generation (wind power and photovoltaic projects) and drinking water supplies.
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