Invisible Touch: Irish energy and the EIB

Last week, ESB and Bord na Móna announced financial close on the 89MW Oweninny wind farm in Mayo. One interesting feature of the public statement was that the European Investment Bank (EIB) was providing 50% of the estimated €160mn investment. As discussed below, in recent years the EIB has not been as directly active in the Irish sector as previously.

There is a symmetry in ESB and Bord na Móna being funded by the EIB. The EIB started funding the Irish energy sector in 1976 and, until 1982, the only two Irish energy organisations receiving funding were those two semi-state bodies – though that coincidence reflects more the historical structure of the Irish energy sector than any quirk on the EIB’s part.

The EIB provided significant funding to the Irish energy sector over those decades but, without a corresponding high profile, its contribution has not received the attention it warrants.

This blog discusses the EIB’s recent involvement in the sector and the potential energy efficiency funding opportunity that seems to have been overlooked by participants.

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