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Up to £1.4 billion in new loans for onshore wind farms

Three UK-based banks will start offering new loans to eligible onshore wind farms. Wind farm developers and the banks will have an opportunity to start brokering the deals at a forum in the city hosted by Ed Miliband and Chancellor Alistair Darling.

Supported by HMTreasury and Department of Energy and Climate Change, the scheme is aiming to enable around £1.4bn worth of onshore wind projects to move to construction over the next 3 years.

The European Investment Bank (EIB) will provide up to £700 million of the new finance, with the remainder matched by RBS, Lloyds Banking Group and BNP Paribas Fortis.

The loans will be available to eligible onshore wind projects with a total project cost of between £20m and £100m.

“We welcome the EIB’s commitment – commented Chancellor Alistair Darling – to provide this vital funding for renewable projects across the UK. The money that is being made available will help continue the essential work of building the UK’s capacity in renewable energy.

”As the Government continues to push for a global agreement on climate change at Copenhagen it is even more important that we live up to our responsibilities and make progress in reducing this country’s dependence on carbon.

“This Government is determined to provide all the support that is needed to secure a greener future.”

Energy and Climate Change Secretary Ed Miliband said that the UK “now has 4GW of wind capacity. And the pace of installation is picking up. It took us 14 years to build the first gigawatt, and just one year to build the last. But we still need a 6-fold increase in renewables by 2020 to hit our renewables target. That target is vital if we are to be on course to cutting emissions by 80% by 2050.

“So we need to pull out the stops including making sure the capital is there to build the wind farms in the first place. This partnership of the EIB with RBS, BNP Paribas Fortis and Lloyds Banking group will address that problem.”

Simon Brooks, EIB’s European Vice-President responsible for the United Kingdom, defined wind energy generation “a core element of our support for renewable energy technology across Europe. We are sure that targeted support, following UK and European Union policy combating climate change, will facilitate rapid and sustained investment in the industry and promote continued transformation to a low-carbon economy.”

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