Climate Justice • 12 Jul 2013
Myths and facts: Energy in Europe
With this new series of energy factsheets Counter Balance wants to introduce EU citizens to the basics of different EU energy developments. We take a look at where and how Europe and its public banks mobilise their money to finance and develop the energy infrastructure of the future.
There are plenty types of energy, all with their own potential and impact. Has nuclear energy still a future inEurope? Why is investing in new coal-fired power plants not only detrimental to the environment and your health but also a costly option? And what are the differences between various types of renewable energy sources?
Not only what we finance matters, but also how we do it. What are the consequences of the next generation of Public Private Partnerships such as project bonds on our infrastructure? Is building and financing more infrastructure projects the easiest way out of the crisis? And who will eventually own all these things we build?
In the factsheets we look into these questions because energy is a key and crosscutting issue that affects us in many different ways. It closely relates to other crucial questions of our time such as climate change, security and the economic crisis. What energy sources we use and how we finance them will influence how our societies will look like in the decades to come.
With several billions of investments in the sector every year the two European public banks, the European Investment Bank (EIB) and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), are key players. As they are currently in the middle of revising their energy policies, the framework for investments in the sector is being set for years to come.
The factsheets we’ve put together aim to inform and involve citizens who are often sidelined in major debates and policy decisions. Since it affects us all – as citizens, consumers, etc – it is important that a wide range of voices are heard. Let’s start with debunking some myths and presenting you some facts.
The Netherlands as a gas roundabout and EIB investments in excess capacity
The European Investment Bank finances energy infrastructure in the Netherlands as it does in other EU member states. Securing gas supply is a top priority for the EU, both through the construction of new gas pipelines as well as liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminals.
Factsheet n°1: Gas RoundaboutDownload here
The good the bad and the uncertain: The new energy policies of Europe's Public Bank
In 2013 we saw almost simultaneous reviews to the energy lending policies of several international public development banks – the World Bank, the European Investment Bank (EIB) and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), three institutions that since 1994 have collectively provided 37.5 billion dollars in financing to the coal industry, along with additional multi-billion dollar support to the oil and gas sectors. This fact sheet provides an overview of the Good, the Bad and the Uncertain energy policy developments that emerged and are now in force at Europe’s two major public banks – the EIB and the EBRD.