Wind and solar electricity production will play an increasingly important role for the future supply of energy. By 2020 the share of renewables in the EU's total energy consumption is set to increase to 20%.
"In order to meet the EU's binding target, the renewable energy market will have to grow by a total of at least 7% per annum. Actual growth in the wind and solar sectors will be considerably in excess of this," says Jürgen H. Lange, Deputy Head of the HSH Nordbank's Energy Business Unit. "Given this outlook for the market, we can do profitable business in this segment, which is one of the Bank's core areas, in the future too."
There is no end to the boom in the sector in sight, especially as stocks of fossil fuels are limited and will thus become more expensive again. On top of this, in future CO2 levies and other environmental costs will have to be paid on conventional forms of energy. Furthermore, the EU and other countries want to gradually make themselves more independent of oil, gas and coal imports.
The key areas of renewable energy are wind and solar power, which are becoming more competitive, with the result that the initial investments still required today will become obsolete in the long term. "North Germany is an excellent location and many leading companies are to be found here. This is one reason why we have been successfully helping to provide project funding for the past 20 years and have earned ourselves a leading position thanks to our knowledge of the sector," says Jürgen H. Lange.
"There is still a great deal of potential in the onshore wind sector in Germany," says this energy expert. HSH Nordbank recently financed a wind farm in Hamburg-Altenwerder. Enercon, a company from Lower Saxony and the market leader in Germany, installed today's most powerful wind turbines in the world here. Together, the two facilities can to supply around 10,000 four-person households with electricity.
HSH Nordbank is also active in the offshore sector. It is a co-founder of the Offshore Windenergie foundation, is involved in financing the offshore project Q7 (now Princess Amalia) off the Dutch coast, has consulting assignments and works in a bank consortium on financing a German offshore project. The offshore wind farms approved in Germany alone account for capital spending of around 26 billion while total spending on all the offshore wind farms planned in Europe stands at more than 400 billion.
The solar sector is also represented in the region by companies with which HSH Nordbank has maintained business relations for many years. Moreover, the Bank is a founding member of the Desertec Industrial Initiative (Dii). Within the framework of the Dii a substantial share of European electricity supply is to be generated by CSP plants in North Africa. "The Concentrating Solar Power (CSP) segment offers extremely interesting prospects due to the possibility of storing this energy economically," says Jürgen H. Lange. HSH Nordbank is assisting its North German and international clients in their European target markets.
The Bank's European portfolio of some 3 billion currently includes around 150 projects two thirds of which are accounted for by the wind sector and one third by solar facilities. The principal countries in the current portfolio are Germany, France, Poland and Spain. In the future HSH Nordbank will mainly finance projects in Germany, France, the UK and Italy.
Source: HSH Nordbank AG