Bloomberg News

IDB to Lend $1.1 Billion a Year for ‘Climate-Friendly’ Projects

March 09, 2012

The Inter-American Development Bank (ITAD) may loan as much as $1.1 billion a year for “climate-friendly” projects in Latin America through 2015 as renewable-energy developers struggle to find financing.

The loans would spur investments in as much as $10 billion of publicly and privately funded ventures aimed at cutting greenhouse-gas emissions, including renewable energy, Jean-Marc Daniel Aboussouan, infrastructure chief for the Washington-based lender, said today in an e-mail.

The IDB plans to direct a quarter of its future lending to projects that combat climate change or that will help countries deal with its effects, as part of a $70 billion capital raise approved last month. The funds will be particularly helpful in countries where cheap commercial credit for renewable-energy developers is scarce, he said.

“Part of our role is to fill the gap” left over from the 2008 financial crisis, Aboussouan said. “Long-term financing options today are much reduced compared to a couple of years ago.”

The IDB, which lends to 26 countries in Latin America and the Caribbean, furnished about $11 billion of loans last year, up from about $7 billion before 2008, Arnaldo Vieira de Carvalho, lead senior energy specialist at the energy division of the IDB, said in a telephone interview from Washington.

The 25 percent target is aligned with nations’ efforts to diversify their energy supply and will lead to more funds directed to renewable-energy projects, especially wind farms which are growing in popularity, he said.

“Many of the countries in our region have gone through legal and regulatory reforms to promote renewable energy.” Aboussouan said.

Historically, about 40 percent of IDB energy-infrastructure loans have gone to large hydroelectric dams, 20 percent to rural electrification, 20 percent to transmission lines and the remainder to other power projects, Vieira de Carvalho said.

To contact the reporter on this story: Stephan Nielsen in Sao Paulo at snielsen8@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Reed Landberg at landberg@bloomberg.net


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