AIB could get €100m energy loan
THE European Investment Bank (EIB) said it is considering a €100m loan for AIB to support lending for renewable energy projects.
Earlier this year, the bank signed off on co-financing for the N7 Newlands Cross flyover scheme and an upgrade of the N11 Arklow-Rathnew road in Co Wicklow.
EIB is likely to make a formal decision on the loan, which has not yet been approved by the bank's board, next month.
The loan to AIB will go towards a €200m lending fund dedicated to financing relatively small-scale onshore wind farm, biomass projects and hydro-power and solar-power plants.
The EU bank is already working with AIB through a provision of €200m to support lending to small and medium-sized companies.
EIB's mandate is to promote economic growth by lending to commercially viable schemes that might struggle to get credit elsewhere.
Bord Gais secured a €155m loan last year from EIB to help finance six onshore wind farms in Tipperary, Clare and Kilkenny.
The Government has set a target that 16pc of all energy generated in Ireland will come from renewable sources by 2020. It is now more than double the 2011 level.
EIB has ramped up lending to projects in Ireland in recent years, supporting capital spending on schools and road schemes as well as helping to boost the capacity of banks including AIB to make loans.