Vote on Stability Treaty Crucial for Energy Financing18 May 2012
During a keynote address at the IIEA yesterday on Trends in Global Clean Energy Investment, Michael Liebreich, CEO of Bloomberg New Energy Finance, emphasised that financing the flow of capital is at the heart of European energy policy. In the period leading to 2030, €2 trillion is needed to fund power generation and infrastructure investment across Europe and an investment of €5 trillion is needed to enhance gloabal energy infrastructure.
Mr Liebreich said that Europe is the core market for renewable energy and that renewable energy requires a lot of debt over a long period. He also stated that investors have a very low tolerance of risk and accordingly that the financial crisis has had a corrosive impact on investment levels in the sector. The vote on the Stability Treaty is, in his view, of critical importance for energy investment across Europe.
Speaking at this event, Pat O’Doherty, ESB Chief Executive, stated that ESB spends almost €1 billion a year on capital investment in support of a reliable electricity network, security of supply and efficient generation. To fund this programme, ESB has to borrow on the international debt markets. Last year ESB raised €1.3 billion in these markets. This was a sign of strong investor confidence in ESB. Mr O'Doherty stated that rejection of the Stability Treaty would make it more difficult for capital-intensive Irish companies like ESB to fund their businesses. He said that a positive vote on 31 May would be good for ESB and for Irish business generally.
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