Ireland designated 'core market' for €1.2bn renewable energy investment fund

The scheme is being offered through Dublin-based company NTR

Ireland designated 'core market' for €1.2bn renewable energy investment fund

An NTR solar plant in Ireland | Image: NTR

The European Investment Bank (EIB) has announced plans to back renewable energy investment across Europe, in cooperation with an Irish firm.

Dublin-based NTR plc has almost 40 years of experience in investing in and managing infrastructure assets.

Its focus is on on-shore wind projects and solar projects in other European countries.

The EIB's €84m backing for the NTR Renewable Energy Income Fund II was announced at an EIB investment conference at the Central Bank in Dublin.

It was attended by Government ministers, EIB President Werner Hoyer and more than 200 business and finance representatives.

The fund will support greenfield on-shore wind and solar projects, as well as energy storage schemes.

It will also provide long-term equity financing of over 25 years to accelerate development of small and medium sized renewable energy projects.

The EIB says expansion of these projects is "currently hindered" by limited availability of long-term financing.

It expects to support 15 to 20 different renewable energy projects, representing approximately 700 MW of clean energy power generation.

Image: NTR

The EIB adds: "Energy storage remains an emerging technology and enabling renewable energy to be more effectively reflect peak demand is essential to achieve climate targets."

Climate Action and the Environment Minister Richard Bruton says: "We want to make Ireland a leader in responding to climate change.

"Being a leader means acting now, stretching ourselves and seizing the enterprise opportunities in a low carbon economy.

"Being a follower means the final costs of adjustment are much higher and opportunities much lower or completely lost.

"Harnessing clean energy is essential to this ambition and stimulating private sector funding of renewable energy projects can help drive down consumer costs and increase the pace and scale of transition to low carbon technologies".

A €500m equity fund is to made available, together with €700m debt.

Last year, the EIB provided €4.4bn for investment in renewable energy projects worldwide.

In May, it confirmed €79.5m backing for the Oweninny windfarm in Co Mayo.