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Unspent Europe funds will be used to finance renewable energy projects

19/11/2010

The vast majority of the European Parliament has voted in favour of plans to release €146m of unused European Union (EU) funds to finance energy saving, energy efficiency and renewable energy projects. Today’s vote swing has given the go-ahead to amend legislation on the European Energy Recovery Plan (EERP) to channel unspent capital into a new fund.

The vast majority of the European Parliament has voted in favour of plans to release €146m of unused European Union (EU) funds to finance energy saving, energy efficiency and renewable energy projects.


Today’s vote swing has given the go-ahead to amend legislation on the European Energy Recovery Plan (EERP) to channel unspent capital into a new fund.


The EERP was launched in 2009 to boost economic recovery through financing energy projects. This year it earmarked €3.98bn to fund a mix of transmission, offshore wind, carbon capture and other energy projects.


Unspent Europe funds will be used to finance renewable energy projects.jpg


The newly-amended regulation provides a legal basis for unspent funds to be used to finance energy efficiency and renewable energy projects, which would otherwise be incorporated back into national budgets.


The European Parliament adopted the amended legislation by 582 votes to 27, with only seven abstentions.


Money from the new fund will be available for clean energy and energy efficient projects from January, with an allocation deadline set for March 2014.


The fund will make contributions in the form of loans, guarantees and equity, with up to 15 per cent of the funding being directed to public authorities to help establish the projects.


It will make financing available for the construction of renewable energy-based heat and power installations, and fund clean energy solutions for public transport, such as electric and hydrogen vehicles.


The unspent EU money will also be used to develop local infrastructure, including energy efficient street lighting, electricity storage projects, smart grid and smart metering.


Energy-efficient renovations of public and private buildings will also be funded through the excess EU capital.


The European Parliament said the fund will focus on helping local and regional authorities pay for such projects, only investing in economically-viable projects that can provide a return on investment.


The legislation must still be formally approved by the European Council before the end of the year, but the European Parliament said it will enter into force immediately.


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