United Kingdom

United Kingdom

Wind Wire: Unleashing capital

Three British banks have started work with the European Investment Bank (EIB) to enable up to £1 billion in finance to flow to onshore wind farms in the UK.

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The move is part of the government's plans for renewables projects to access up to £4 billion of EIB funds - either through direct loans to projects or via intermediated lending through banks. In this first tranche of funding, RBS, Lloyds and BNP Paribas Fortis are to help channel up to £600 million of EIB money to small onshore projects that are struggling to raise debt finance. Loans will be available from autumn. The EIB will match up to 50% of the project debt with lending from the banks. "The European Investment Bank funds will help the building start on consented wind farms that could provide one gigawatt of electricity, enough to power more than half a million homes," says energy secretary Ed Miliband. The government also launched a call for proposals to share £10 million in grants for offshore wind technology development. It is designed to free up supply chain capacity and speed supply of components for multi-megawatt offshore wind turbines to help meet 2020 renewables targets and reduce costs.

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