Econostrum | Economic News in the Mediterranean

EBRD invests €43m in two wind farms in Croatia

Written by Frédéric Dubessy on Tuesday, August 23rd 2022 à 16:15 | Read 415 times

The two new wind farms will increase by 10% the country's electricity production from renewable energy sources (photo: EBRD)
The two new wind farms will increase by 10% the country's electricity production from renewable energy sources (photo: EBRD)
CROATIA. The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) will participate in financing the construction and operation of two wind farms in Croatia through a €43 million loan to Kunovac.
Other credit lines have been taken out for these projects with Zagrebačka Banka (a subsidiary of UniCredit) and the Croatian Bank for Reconstruction and Development (HBOR) for a total amount of €126m.

A joint venture between Croatian company Encro Kunovac and Finnish fund Taaleri SolarWind II, Kunovac launched the country's first utility-scale renewable energy project developed outside a renewable energy subsidy regime. For the EBRD, this is a first in Croatia in the field of wind energy. It also innovates with "a financing structure that is unprecedented in the country, combining a company power purchase agreement and a market-based financing structure", says a statement from the institution.

Located in the Zadar region (300 km south-west of Zagreb), the future installations will have twenty-five Nordex wind turbines with a total joint capacity of 111 MW, which is enough to supply 85,000 homes with electricity. This capacity will increase the country's current electricity production from renewable sources by around 10%.

Developing Croatia's energy independence

"With this latest project, Encro continues to unlock Croatia's renewable energy potential. It contributes to Croatia's and the EU's energy transition goals and strengthens economic growth, security and climate action, and will help Croatia meet the requirements of the EU Recovery and Resilience Mechanism (grid connection of 1.5 GW of renewable energy sources by 2025)," comments Iljko Ćurić. Encro's CEO says that "this project is being carried out during an unprecedented European energy crisis" and will "reduce Europe's and Croatia's dependence on energy imports."

Construction began in the second quarter of 2021 and the facilities are expected to be operational in the fourth quarter of 2023. "Croatia has excellent renewable energy resources and we are happy to play a role in developing Croatia's energy independence," emphasises Kai Rintala, managing director of Taaleri Energia, owner of the fund which in mid-August 2022 entered the case alongside Encro, its initiator. The Croatian company is the largest producer and developer of wind energy in its country.

At Cop26, Croatia committed to increasing its share of wind and solar power generation from 14% in 2020 to 27% in 2030 and 45% in 2050.

The EBRD had already supported two investments by the Taaleri Energia fund in wind farms. One in Poland and the other in Serbia.


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