Six Central American countries are getting a loan worth $230 million (£148m) from an EU bank in a bid to help boost the renewable energy sector.
The European Investment Bank (EIB) is providing almost half the funding of an investment plan worth $500 million (£322m) to support hydropower, wind, geothermal and solar projects in Honduras, Nicaragua, EI Salvador, Guatemala, Costa Rica and Panama.
The programme is a joint initiative with the Central American Bank for Economic Integration (CABEI) and aims to reduce regional dependence on fossil fuel imports and cut carbon emissions from energy production. The new lending scheme will also support energy efficiency projects.
Magdalena Álvarez Arza, EIB’s Vice President responsible for lending in Latin America said: “Considerable investment is needed to harness the potential of renewable energy and more efficient energy use to reduce carbon emissions and provide energy essential for economic growth. The European Investment Bank is committed to supporting long-term investment in sustainable energy around the world and enabling low-carbon energy investment in Central America.”
The EIB has provided more than €5.7 billion (£4.9bn) in funding for long-term investment projects in Latin America, including €1.9 billion (£1.6bn) in the energy sector.
Earlier this month the EIB also approved a loan worth €45 million (£38.7m) for a German firm to improve exhaust technology for cars and commercial vehicles and cut emissions.