EIB Lends €300 Million to Banco Santander Brasil for Small-Scale Solar Energy Investments
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- The Global Gateway project will contribute to climate action to mitigate the effects of climate change.
- Solar photovoltaic plants will be installed on homes and on local business premises.
The European Investment Bank (EIB), the world’s largest multilateral public bank, and Banco Santander (Brasil), the largest foreign bank in Brazil, have signed an agreement to foster the use of renewable energy in Brazil. Ricardo Mourinho Félix, Vice-President of the EIB, and Carlos Rey de Vicente, Banco Santander’s Regional Head for South America, signed a €300 million loan in Brussels on 17 July 2023 during the EU-CELAC Summit of Heads of State and Government and the EU-LAC Business Forum.
The project is part of the European Union’s Global Gateway investment strategy supporting infrastructure and improving global and regional connectivity in the digital, climate, transport, health, energy and education sectors.
The loan will support the installation of a series of small-scale self-consumption solar photovoltaic plants in Brazil, predominantly on rooftops, for a total combined capacity of around 600 MWp. The plants will be installed on homes and on the premises of small and medium businesses.
This Global Gateway project will contribute to climate action to mitigate the effects of climate change. The project will also help Brazil reach its targets for increasing the share of renewable energy sources in its annual electricity generation, and to achieve its ten-year national energy expansion plan. As a low-carbon power generation project, it will reduce carbon emissions and air pollution. It will also build new generation capacity as part of a self-consumption system that will reduce electrical losses and foster energy efficiency.
The operation signed today strengthens the EIB’s role as a global climate bank and will mean that almost 80% of its total financing in Latin America in 2022 is linked to climate action and environmental sustainability. Furthermore, it contributes to Santander’s climate strategy, which is committed to becoming net zero by 2050. Santander also strongly supports sustainable initiatives: in 2022 alone, more than BRL 32 billion (€6 billion) in sustainable business was made possible by the organisation in Brazil.
“I’m very pleased to announce this project with Banco Santander (Brasil) that will enable private sector investments in renewable energy, reduce carbon emissions and air pollution, and support additional renewable generation capacity in Brazil. This operation under EIB Global, the arm of the EIB created in 2022 for activities outside the European Union, builds on our global climate engagement and our support for climate action in Brazil over the last three decades,” said EIB Vice-President Ricardo Mourinho Félix.
Commissioner for International Partnerships at the European Commission, Jutta Urpilainen, said, “This project will have a significant positive impact for Brazilian families and small businesses. Through the EU-Latin America and the Caribbean Global Gateway Investment Agenda, we are committed to work together to promote fair green and digital investment, and also help to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals.”
“This partnership with the EIB will help us to continue moving towards a green economy that is prepared to face the challenges of the future. In a large and sunny country like Brazil, solar energy generation can play a fundamental role in our energy mix. With these resources, we will be able to support thousands of people and small companies have access to solar energy, and generate clean energy and savings for families across the country,” said Carlos Rey de Vicente, Banco Santander’s Regional Head for South America.