Credit crisis hurting clean energy sector: bankers

The renewable energy sector will see a 21 billion euro ($29.43 billion) shortfall in debt finance by 2020, following the credit crisis and a brake on lending, a senior banker said on Monday.

Investors at a renewable energy finance conference in London tried to digest the implications of a banking hiatus following Lehman Brothers' filing for bankruptcy and Bank of America's acquisition of Merrill Lynch.

The European Union has set a target of getting one-fifth of its energy from renewable sources, including wind, sun and biomass, by 2020.

European wind and solar power projects drew 18 billion euros investment in 2007 and needed about 85 billion euros annually by 2020 to meet the EU's target, said Tanja Cuppen, a renewable investing executive at Rabobank.

However, the pace in growth of the sector, coupled with less appetite for long-term lending, would contribute to a 21 billion euros debt finance shortfall, she told conference delegates.

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