Eastern European Wind Now More ‘Bankable’

As manufacturer and developer ambitions escalate, Eastern European wind energy projects are becoming increasingly ‘bankable’. That is according to GCube, the leading provider of underwriting services for the renewable energy industry projects.

The assertion comes as GCube announces that it will insure EP Global Energy’s development of an 80MW project in Chirnogeni, Constanta, Romania. The project, that will use Nordex N90 2.5MW turbines, and is the German manufacturer’s largest order to date, is supported by a number of key financial institutions including the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD).

With austerity measures perpetuating the slowdown in the Western European wind energy industry; project developers are looking to the former Eastern Bloc and new EU member nations for future opportunities.

And as many of these countries look to renewable energy to meet pan-European 2020 low carbon targets, so the political support for these projects has started to stabilise. In recent months this has led to increased investor confidence and bankability in the region.

“There seems to be little doubt that within Europe, the focus for 2013 will be set on looking to the East,” said Fraser McLachlan, Chief Executive Officer, GCube.

“While we have seen some instability in the political support for renewable energy in some region, Bulgaria’s announcement last week on renewed plans for green energy, and increasing certainty in the Romanian market, have shown significant promise. Something that ultimately, will ensure that the next twelve months are a little more favourable to investors.”

“At GCube, we’ve been firm supporters of Eastern European wind energy since 2008, when we insured the first phase of the Fantanele-Cogealac wind farm – Romania’s largest wind energy project to date.

“However, the EP Global Energy project that we’re now supporting is a testament to shifting investor attitudes. Particularly given the number of financial institutions on board, which include the Marguerite Fund, the EBRD – with syndicated support through ING, Erste and Unicredit – and the EnerCap Power Fund.”

Mr Efthyvoulos Paraskevaides, Chairman, EP Global Energy commented: “Since our inception in 2006, we’ve remained focused on developing renewable and conventional energy projects in key emerging markets. This includes the Balkans and the Middle East.

“The 80MW Romanian project underlines this commitment and enables us to continue to develop quality projects that offer the best possible mix of power and electricity to the grid, set against the best possible investment returns. We look forward to working with GCube and new European member states as we collectively seek to decarbonise energy supplies in the future.”

GCube will be attending the European Wind Energy Association conference in Vienna, Austria from 4 – 7th February 2013.

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