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MEP Kelly welcomes EU backing for Irish Renewable Energy fund

Published: Wed, 23 September 2015

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MEP for Ireland South, Seán Kelly, has welcomed new funding for Renewable Energy infrastructure investments in Ireland from the European Investment Bank (EIB) and the new European Fund for Strategic investment (EFSI).

Mr. Kelly said that the news of the funding – €100 million from the EIB and €100 million under the EFSI guarantee – for BlackRock Investment Management’s ‘Renewable Income Europe’ fund was a welcome step towards the full utilisation of Ireland’s significant renewable energy resources and a great example of the EU’s new investment agenda being put into practice.

“I’m delighted to hear that Ireland’s renewable energy sector has been given this backing from the EIB and EFSI. These funds are designed to support investment into the real economy and deliver growth across the entire community.

“As regards renewables, we are at a critical juncture both in Ireland and at EU level in which we need to ensure that the share of clean renewables in our energy mix is increased. Europe’s goal is to lead the way in Renewable Energy – this needs investment, and by using instruments such as EFSI to lower the risk profile of projects that are perceived as risky to investors, we can help to put the infrastructure and generation capacity in place and move towards a low-carbon economy”

The Fine Gael MEP, Ireland’s only full member of the European Parliament’s Energy Committee, noted that increasing the share of the renewable energy we produce will contribute to bringing a reliable supply of energy to Ireland, and potentially even allow us to export renewable energy – generating additional economic growth in the process.

“The funding for this project will see added infrastructure investment in solar and wind energy. Offshore wind in particular can bring significant job creation in the operation of Irish offshore wind farms, help us to meet renewables targets, and export green electricity to Europe – this would be yet another significant boost to Ireland’s economic recovery.

“As the EU looks to put in place the concept of an EU Energy Union, developing our huge renewable energy resources can see Ireland play an important role in securing the energy supply for the region”

Kelly is also at the forefront of Parliamentary discussions on Climate Change ahead of the upcoming COP21 Climate Change conference in Paris in December at which world leaders are expected to reach a legally binding agreement to limit dangerous rises in global temperatures caused by continued carbon emissions.

The Kerry man noted that instruments such as EFSI represent important, concrete actions on the part of the EU in the fight against global warming.

“Preventing Climate Change is one of the most urgent challenges we face today. At this time, an added push is needed for the development and deployment of renewable energy and EFSI will contribute a lot in this regard. The fund will mobilise €315 million in investment over the next three years and the energy sector will be one of the key beneficiaries – it is encouraging that Europe is already taking the vital actions needed ahead of Paris”.

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