Renewables to bolster energy security in Eastern Europe

European financiers look to invest into Central & Eastern European renewable energy markets.

Berlin, 3rd of February 2006 - While the U.S. Government pledged in the State of the Union speech this week that "America is addicted to oil from the Middle East" and must break its dependence by 75 percent by 2025 through a dramatically increased use of home based clean technology resources, a silent energy revolution is already under way across Central and Eastern Europe.

In compliance with 2010 EU targets and in anticipation of the Russian gas crisis this winter, former communist block countries like Poland, Estonia, Bulgaria or the Czech Republic are in the process of introducing concrete legislation, including renewables feed in tariffs, to generate a significant proportion of their energy consumption from home based clean energy sources.

"Economies in transition are beginning to recognise the importance of energy independence and are thus looking to bring renewables into the energy mix. As the legislative and regulatory frameworks are put into place financial risk is lowered. Recent changes in renewable energy policy is beginning attract finance into the region." states Marianne Osterkorn, International Director for Renewable Energy Partnership (REEEP).

"If you look at Poland, there are currently 6,000MW of wind in planning, while only 63MW has been built. It's time to attract private finance into markets such as Poland as estimates show that E6 billion euros will be required to finance the construction of those wind farms."

Coming also in the wake of a major Government energy strategy summit, planned by the office of the newly elected German Chancellor Angela Merkel, leading international investment banks and finance experts will gather in Berlin for the first large-scale renewable energy finance forum focussing on Central & Eastern Europe.

Germany is certainly the biggest player in this process, but set to undergo significant changes in terms of financing and funding renewable projects. To maintain its leading position in the world market, German renewable companies realise already a significant amount of their turnover in emerging export markets.

The Renewable Energy Finance Forum (REFF) in the Berlin Hilton Hotel from 13-14th of March, takes place at a crucial time for the future of central European energy security and in a buoyant climate of growth for clean energy technologies worldwide.

"According to the International Energy Agency the breathtaking figure of $16 trillion will be invested in the energy sector until 2030. Due to skyrocketing oil prices, the need to reducing the dependence on foreign fossil fuel imports and national security considerations, investments will have to go more and more into smart renewable energy technologies.", says Christian Unger, Head of Energy at Bank of Austria.

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