February 22 (Renewables Now) – Andrew McDowell, the Vice President of the European Investment Bank (EIB), called for doubling energy investments as the EU lender launched on Thursday a public consultation on future energy lending policy.
In a statement published on the EIB website, McDowell said that the lender provided over EUR 50 billion (USD 56.7bn) to renewable energy, energy efficiency and electricity grid projects in Europe and worldwide over the last five years.
“This lending helped make solar and wind power much cheaper, with costs down 73% and 22%, respectively since 2010. By 2050, energy costs could fall from 5% of global GDP to a little over 2%”, McDowell said.
McDowell believes that public investors such as the EIB should direct their financing towards investments that cut emissions and combat climate change, while also creating jobs and growth in the renewable energy and energy efficiency sectors.
The EIB is guided by the energy lending criteria established in 2013. The global impact of the lender’s renewable energy projects backed since will be 38,000 MW of generation capacity, McDowell said.
McDowell’s concerns lie with the low level of global investments in research and development (R&D) in renewable energy, which he said stood at USD 32 billion in 2017, including USD 22 billion from governments. Since 2008, the EIB has provided EUR 3.5 billion in energy-related R&D and manufacturing, with around two-thirds going to wind and solar.
The public consultation meeting with stakeholders will take place in Brussels on Monday, February 25. As vice president in charge of the EIB’s energy financing, McDowell will host the session. Stakeholders can submit their written contributions before March 29. The EIB expects to adopt a new energy lending policy in the third quarter of 2019.
(EUR 1.0 = USD 1.13)