EIB earmarks EUR 1bn in 2020 to promote European battery industry

The ABB Ability PowerStore. Source: ABB

May 22 (Renewables Now) - The European Investment Bank (EIB) expects to increase the amount of financing for battery-related projects to more than EUR 1 billion (USD 1.09bn) in 2020 with a goal to support a strong and independent pan-European battery industry.

The bank’s commitment was confirmed this week at a meeting of the European Battery Alliance (EBA), an initiative launched by European Commission Vice-President Maros Sefcovic in 2017.

”With the support of the European Battery Alliance, the European Investment Bank - the EU Bank - is significantly stepping up our financing of all stages of the battery value chain, from research and development, raw materials extraction and processing through to battery production, e-charging infrastructure and recycling,” said EIB Vice-President in charge of energy, Andrew McDowell.

The production capacity of EIB-backed lithium-ion battery cells projects -- already approved, signed or under appraisal -- stands at 51 GWh, according to the bank.

Batteries are not only key components for decarbonisation and low-carbon technologies, such as electric vehicles (EVs), but could also boost the European automotive industry and safeguard thousands of jobs, the EIB highlighted.

The need to build resilience of the local battery industry has become greater in the wake of the coronavirus disease pandemic. As the COVID-19 crisis unfolded around the world and with critical components made in China, the European battery industry was exposed to severe disruptions in supply chains.

“The corona crisis has further highlighted that the rationale behind the European Battery Alliance is more relevant than ever – to bolster Europe’s resilience and strategic autonomy in critical industrial sectors and in key, game-changing technologies,” said Sefcovic.

(EUR 1.0 = USD 1.09)

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