The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) and the European Union (EU) have agreed a new EUR 50 million programme of financial guarantees aimed at scaling up investment in renewable energy in Ukraine and in the EU’s Southern Neighbourhood with a particular focus on Jordan, Lebanon and Tunisia, the bank has said in a press release.
Under the new programme, the EBRD will provide guarantees to lenders such as local commercial banks, which will allow them to provide financing to projects alongside EBRD loans. The guarantee is expected to help generate total investments of up to EUR 500 million.
This is the first agreement during the bank’s cooperation with the EU through the External Investment Plan (EIP) in the EU neighbourhood regions.
“We’re delighted to partner with the EU for such an urgent cause as climate action. Our lending combined with the EU’s financial instruments encourages more participation of the private sector in investments which are very much needed to face the global challenges of the future, including a more sustainable development model,” EBRD Vice President, Policy and Partnerships Pierre Heilbronn said.
European Commissioner for European Neighbourhood Policy and Enlargement Negotiations Olivér Várhelyi added that the EU is convinced the guarantee provides sufficient risk cover to attract major private sector investment in countries where not enough such financing is available.
According to the report, through the EIP, to date the EU has allocated EUR 4.5 billion in public funds to leverage EUR 44 billion in public and private investment for development in countries neighbouring the EU and in Africa.
The Board of Directors of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) has approved the provision of additional financing in the amount of EUR 200 million for the development of renewable energy sources in Ukraine. The EBRD said it intends to issue new funds to finance private renewable energy projects under the current system of stimulating “green” tariffs. The planned replenishment will allow the bank to build on the success of USELF-III and maintain momentum in the transition from the existing mechanism of preferential tariffs to a support system based on competitive auctions.
The bank noted that the third program of financing renewable energy development approved in July 2018 in the amount of EUR 250 million (Ukraine Sustainable Energy Lending Facility, USELF-III) will be fully implemented by the end of 2019.
As reported, the EBRD under the USELF program has been supporting the development of renewable energy in Ukraine since 2009. The program is aimed at assisting the state in achieving by 2020 the share of “green” generation in the country’s total energy consumption at 11% (including a 6% share of large hydropower plants).
President of Finland Sauli Väinämö Niinistö has assured Ukraine of support in the area of energy sector reforms, in particular renewable ones.
“We are cooperating in the energy sector. We are interested in cooperation in the field of renewable energy sources and, I think, it will be for the benefit of both states. Therefore, we are ready to share our knowledge in this area,” he said at a joint press conference with President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky in Kyiv.
He emphasized that Finland had also done a lot of work on forests.
“For the forests not only contribute to the economy, but also improve the life of society,” Niinistö added.
The Bioenergy Association of Ukraine (BAU), together with the associations uniting the leading producers of electricity from renewable energy sources, have addressed President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky regarding the situation with the payment for purchased electricity from alternative sources at a feed-in tariff. According to the press service of the BAU, the decisions of the Kyiv District Administrative Court to suspend the decisions of the National Commission for Energy, Housing and Utilities Services Regulation (NCER), which set tariffs for electricity transmission for Ukrenergo, will lead to non-payments to producers of electricity from renewable sources.
The letter also emphasizes that the decision of the Kyiv District Administrative Court to satisfy the claim of Nikopol Ferroalloy Plant to secure the claim against the NCER will lead to a halt in building new renewable energy facilities, a failure to comply with the obligations to financial institutions. In addition, it will damage the investment attractiveness of Ukraine and freeze the development of the renewable energy industry.
“We are asking to support the strategic development of the renewable energy industry in Ukraine and prevent the deterioration of the investment climate due to the violation of the guarantees provided by the state,” the letter reads.
Ukraine in June 2019 increased electricity generation from renewable energy sources by 2.8 times (by 378.3 million kWh) compared to June 2018, to 585 million kWh.
According to data from the Ministry of Energy and Coal Industry, available to Interfax-Ukraine, production of electricity from renewable energy sources in January-June 2019 increased by 1.9 times compared to the same period last year, to 2.372 billion kWh.
The share of renewable energy in the structure of electricity production in June 2019 reached 5% against 1.8% in June 2018, while the share of renewable energy in the first half of this year was 3% against 1.5% in January-June 2018.
As reported, as of the end of the first half of the year, the installed capacity of renewable energy facilities reached 3,634 MW, in particular that of solar plants some 2,640 MW, wind plants 776.6 MW, biomass plants 51.3 MW, and biogas stations some 66.4 MW.
The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) could organize a syndicated loan of EUR 80 million for state-owned Ukreximbank (Kyiv) to support renewable energy and energy efficiency private investments in Ukraine.
According to a posting on the bank’s website, EBRD will provide EUR 40 million from own account.
The provision of the loan is pending the approval of the EBRD Board on June 19, 2019.
Ukreximbank, a wholly owned state bank, was established in 1992. It ranked third among 77 banks in Ukraine in terms of total assets worth UAH 232.064 billion as of January 1, 2019, according to the National Bank of Ukraine (NBU).