Competitive and secure energy
The Bank’s activities in the field of competitive and secure energy contribute to of the following specific policy goals:
- support cross-border transmission projects in both gas and electricity thereby boosting competition on energy markets and increasing energy security by diversifying sources;
- support the modernisation and the application of “smart” technologies to gas and electricity distribution grids.
Strategic context - competitive and secure energy
A secure and sustainable supply of energy at affordable prices is central to the EU’s competitiveness and economic growth, quite apart from its importance for the individual household. However, as the EU’s Energy Security Strategy notes, the EU currently imports 53% of its energy needs (90% of its crude oil, 66% of its natural gas) at a cost of over EUR 1 billion per day and is heavily dependent on Russia for much of its energy supply. Furthermore, pressure on energy supplies is growing with global demand expected to rise by 27% by 2030.
Modern energy infrastructure is essential if the EU is to integrate its energy market and meet its energy and climate goals. It is estimated that around EUR 200 billion of investment in Europe’s transmission grids and gas pipelines will be needed in the current decade. However, not all of these big investments are able to find the financing needed for their implementation.
The EIB’s operations are guided by the priority corridors that have been identified in the Trans-European Networks Energy (TEN-E) strategy. These corridors require major infrastructure developments to connect regions and countries currently isolated from European energy markets, to promote the strengthening of existing cross-border interconnections, and to facilitate the integration of renewable energy supplies into national and international grids.
Types of operations to support competitive and secure energy supplies
The Bank’s added value to TEN-E infrastructure projects is exemplified by its ability to provide the long-term finance needed for this type of project. Its terms are very competitive and grace periods and loan maturities can be tailored to the project’s construction and operating phases, with the possibility of structured finance as a complement to commercial bank and capital market funding.
In addition to providing various types of finance for infrastructure projects, the EIB also provides technical advisory services, particularly in less-developed regions and on projects involving complex structures, such as public-private partnerships.
New signatures in competitive and secure energy in 2017
During 2017, competitive and secure energy projects accounted for EUR 5.4 billion or 10% of all new EIB signatures in the EU. As a result of EIB financing, enough additional electricity generation capacity will be created to supply over 20 000 households and over 36 million smart meters will be installed.