The board of the European Investment Bank (EIB) announced on November 14, 2019 its new energy lending policy and the ambition to stop financing fossil fuels including gas as of 2021, The new energy lending policy details five principles that will govern future EIB engagement in the energy sector:

  • prioritising energy efficiency with a view to supporting the new EU target under the EU Energy Efficiency Directive
  • enabling energy decarbonisation through increased support for low or zero carbon technology, aiming to meet a 32% renewable energy share throughout the EU by 2030
  • increasing financing for decentralised energy production, innovative energy storage and e-mobility (including fuel cell powered eletric vehicles?!!)
  • ensuring grid investment essential for new, intermittent energy sources like wind and solar as well as strengthening cross-border interconnections
  • increasing the impact of investment to support energy transformation outside the EU.

This coincides nicely with what, for example DNV GL‘ recently identified, as the  five most promising alternative fuels for shipping, with hydrogen as the ultimate zero-emission solution. The first complete hydrogen fuelled prospect has been put together by Ulstein Design & Solutions BV and Nedstack fuel cell technology BV. The ULSTEIN SX190 Zero Emission DP2 construction support vessel is Ulstein’s first hydrogen powered offshore vessel, featuring a Nedstack fuel cell power system. The DP2 vessel can cater for a large variety of offshore support operations. “The maritime industry needs to align and be ambitious in bringing green solutions forward for a sustainable future. With this hydrogen-fuelled vessel, we aim for future zero-emission operations of long endurance,” says Tore Ulstein, deputy CEO, Ulstein Group. Sea trials of a newbuild ULSTEIN SX190 Zero Emission could happen as soon as 2022.

Also inland shipping is ruffling feathers in considering hydrogen, however this sector is “powered” by many individual “shippers” that will need a “friendly” bank to convert their ship and bunkering facilities to the use of hydrogen. Apart from the announced Construction Flagship in EU’s Green Deal, converting EU’s main transport corridors to the real green” wheeling” and dealing, will take a climate bank with the guts to put indeed their money where now their mouths seem to be. Together with the major power companies and transmission system operators (electricity and gas) and “oillng” giants, Europe could not only host the first Climate Bank but the first Climate Corridors of the world.  All aboard??