The European Investment Bank (EIB) has provided Spanish group Acciona with €100m to develop its innovation and digitalisation activities.

The EIB funding will enable Acciona to undertake a range of investments in strategic sectors for the company, such as renewable energy, infrastructure and water treatment. These activities will be carried out at Acciona’s technological research centres in Madrid, Pamplona and Barcelona. The digitalisation investments will be made across the company’s different business lines.
Acciona Energia
The agreement signed by EIB Vice-President Román Escolano and Acciona’s Chief Financial Officer, Carlos Arilla, is supported by the European Fund for Strategic Investments (EFSI), the main plank of the European Commission’s Investment Plan for Europe , dubbed the “Juncker Plan”.

Energy Business Review reports that the loan will help EIB support the European Union’s climate action and renewable energy development priorities. Specifically, Acciona’s innovation and digitalisation programme will enable the application of new technologies to optimise the construction, operation and remote control of its electricity generation plants.

EIB Climate Action and Energy Commissioner Miguel Arias Cañete said: “This investment under the Juncker Plan clearly demonstrates that Europe wants to remain in the vanguard of the fight against climate change. This loan will not only give a boost to the energy transition in Spain and help us to achieve our climate objectives for 2030, but will also support other key priorities of the European Union like job creation, sustainable economic growth, and the improvement of the health of our citizens and the competitiveness of our enterprises.”

“The energy transition means above all that energy and digitalisation must go hand in hand. The last few years have seen a spectacular reduction in the cost of renewable energy, but we have to carry on innovating and investing in it to maintain our leadership and ensure that it secures its place as the energy of the future.”

Acciona chief technology and innovation officer Arantza Ezpeleta said during the signing ceremony: “This loan will enable us to simultaneously boost digitalisation and innovation in advanced technologies for application in Acciona’s business in order to gain competitive advantages in the areas of sustainable infrastructure and clean power generation.”

The Investment Plan for Europe, known as the “Juncker Plan”, is one of the European Commission’s top priorities. It focuses on boosting investment to generate jobs and growth by making smarter use of new and existing financial resources, removing obstacles to investment, and providing visibility and technical assistance to investment projects.

The European Fund for Strategic Investments (EFSI) is the main pillar of the Juncker Plan and provides first loss guarantees, enabling the EIB to invest in more projects that often come with greater risks. EFSI has already yielded tangible results. The projects and agreements approved for financing under EFSI are expected to mobilise more than EUR256bn in investment and support almost 539,000 SMEs in the 28 Member States.