Boosting Green Energy
Solaria Secures €1.7 Billion Investment for Massive Solar Power Projects in Spain, Italy, and Portugal
In a groundbreaking move toward renewable energy, the European Investment Bank (EIB) has granted Solaria a monumental framework financing of up to €1.7 billion. This substantial investment aims to bolster the construction of approximately 120 photovoltaic power plants, spread across Spain, Italy, and Portugal. These plants are poised to become a powerhouse of green energy, with a collective capacity of 5.6 GW. Upon completion, these solar facilities are projected to generate an impressive 9.29 TWh of electricity each year.
InvestEU and Sustainability
This ambitious endeavor is made possible through the InvestEU program, designed to stimulate over €372 billion in supplementary investments between 2021 and 2027. The project aligns with the InvestEU Sustainable Infrastructure policy, making it a crucial contributor to the European Green Deal's goals. It will provide electricity equivalent to the annual demand of around 2.5 million households and reduce greenhouse gas emissions by a substantial 3 million tonnes of CO2 annually. By bolstering energy security and promoting economic growth, this initiative ensures a prosperous, sustainable, and eco-conscious future for the European Union.
Multiple Phases and Local Impact
The operation's structure comprises a long-term project finance plan involving the signing of several loans. Financial institutions are poised to partake in these loans under the framework financing. Notably, the initial loan, totaling €278 million, has been secured for constructing photovoltaic power plants boasting an impressive 1.08 GW of combined capacity.
To emphasize its commitment to balanced regional development, over one-third of the photovoltaic power plants will be situated in less developed regions, characterized by a GDP per capita less than 75% of the EU average. These areas will benefit significantly from this project, with an estimated 11,100 jobs to be created annually during the construction phase, according to EIB's calculations.
Fulfilling the REPowerEU Plan
The EIB's support for Solaria's project is an integral part of the dedicated package of assistance offered under the REPowerEU Plan. This plan endeavors to enhance energy efficiency, boost renewables, and eliminate dependence on fossil fuel imports. As Europe's dependency on fossil fuels decreases, the focus shifts to cleaner, more sustainable energy production.
EIB Vice-President Ricardo Mourinho Félix expressed the institution's dedication to clean energy, emphasizing the importance of ensuring Europe's energy security and sustainable access to power. As the EU climate bank, the EIB aims to advance the energy transition while fostering economic and employment growth in less developed regions across Spain, Portugal, and Italy.
Commissioner for the Economy, Paolo Gentiloni, hailed this operation as a testament to InvestEU's ability to meaningfully support Europe's transition to climate neutrality and energy independence. The project promises to contribute significantly to the climate while simultaneously creating thousands of jobs during the construction phase in the relevant regions.
Enrique Díaz-Tejeiro, President of Solaria Energía y Medio Ambiente, expressed immense pride in the project's financing. Solaria intends to use the €1.7 billion investment to construct 5.6 GW of solar photovoltaic capacity throughout Spain, Italy, and Portugal. The company is confident in its ability to accelerate the transition toward clean energy, aiming to achieve a total capacity of 6.2 GW by 2025.
EIB's Commitment to Energy Transition
In 2022, the EIB Group pledged over €17 billion in financing for the European energy transition, with Spain receiving a record €3.1 billion in commitments for sustainable energy and natural resource projects. This unwavering commitment to sustainable energy access ensures that Europe remains resilient even during energy supply crises.
In July 2023, the EIB's Board of Directors increased the funds allocated to projects aligned with the REPowerEU Plan to €45 billion, representing a 50% increase from the initial €30 billion package announced in October 2022. This expansion includes broader sector eligibility to promote EU manufacturing in cutting-edge strategic net-zero technologies and critical raw materials.
The approval of up to €1.7 billion in framework financing for Solaria signifies a substantial leap toward a greener future for Spain, Italy, and Portugal. The extensive solar power projects, bolstered by InvestEU, exemplify the European Union's commitment to environmental sustainability, economic growth, and energy security. As the EU embarks on a journey toward climate neutrality, projects like Solaria's will play a vital role in the transition to clean, sustainable energy solutions.