9 June 2016
WindEurope hosts refinancing wind projects workshop in London
On 2 June, WindEurope held a workshop in London on refinancing European wind energy projects.
The three-hour workshop – hosted jointly with sustainable energy consultancy 3E – examined why refinancing in the wind energy industry was increasing in Europe despite question marks over regulatory support at EU and national level.
Finance experts and investors, who play a crucial role in driving wind energy deployment in Europe, exchanged views on how to develop viable wind financing models and align capital with project needs.
Régis Decoret, Head of Wind at 3E, opened the workshop with a presentation on wind project financing. He gave the audience a detailed account of how the technical challenges impact on project costs and revenues.
Decoret presented the findings from a 3E study on the operational performance of 400MW of onshore wind projects in France, Germany, and Netherlands. The report investigates the accuracy of availability losses before the construction phase of a wind plant and the corrections on energy yield from turbines. The results suggest that in 97% of cases, operational wind farms achieve the production estimates that are made prior to construction.
The second half of the event was a panel session with high level financiers and investors. The panel included Jérôme Guillet, Managing Director of Green Giraffe; Nick Gardiner, Head of Offshore Wind at the Green Investment Bank; Charles-Eduoard Mariolle, Deputy Head of Renewables at Mirova; Alejandro Ciruelos, Managing Director of Project & Acquisition Finance at Santander Global Banking & Markets; and 3E’s Régis Decoret completed the line-up. WindEurope moderated the discussion.
Panellists debated the prospects for refinancing at a time when many countries in Europe are changing support schemes for wind energy and renewables. Opinion was divided on whether medium or long term stability would help address one of the main problems in the market today: cost and access to capital. Investors recognised the importance of long-term policy aspirations, however, they also stressed the need for immediate solutions in the next 2-3 years to create steady and substantial investments in the wind energy sector.