EBRD approves up to 300 mln euros for renewable energy projects in Greece

The board of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) approved on Thursday up to 300 million euros of funds to finance renewable energy projects in Greece.

The amount will finance investments in electricity generation from renewable sources and in electricity distribution and transmission capacity to improve efficiency, reduce losses and enable the integration of renewables into the grid.

The framework is expected to result in annual emissions savings of 500,000 tons of carbon dioxide equivalent, while it will lessen Greece’s dependence on fossil fuels and imports.

One of the first renewable energy projects that EBRD is considering financing under the new framework subject to Board approval, is a 43 MW wind farm project developed by Volterra S.A., a Greek renewable energy developer and electricity operator fully owned by the Greek construction company J&P Avax.

“This framework marks a milestone in our engagement in Greece. It provides us with the opportunity to play an important role in ensuring that the country’s new renewables scheme is successful and thus supporting Greece’s energy security and carbon-reduction goals,” said Harry Boyd-Carpenter, the EBRD’s new Director for Power and Energy.

“The EBRD renewable energy framework will make the Greek economy greener, more resilient and more competitive.”

Sub-projects under the framework will have to be 100 percent compliant with the EBRD Green Economy Transition approach.

The decision follows the establishment by Greece in 2016 of a new, more market-based, renewable-energy support scheme that introduces competitive auctions to replace fixed-price feed-in tariffs. It will also contribute to the country’s target of adding 2.4 GW of new green-energy generation capacity by 2020.

The EBRD started investing in Greece on a temporary basis in 2015 to support the country’s economic recovery. To date, the Bank has invested some 850 million euros in 17 projects in the financial, energy, infrastructure and agribusiness sectors of the Greek economy.