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Onshore wind given 1.4bn UKbank loan

LLOYDS Banking Group, Royal Bank of Scotland and BNP Paribas teamed up with the European Investment Bank yesterday to pour &pound;1.4bn of financing into onshore wind projects in the UK.<br /><br />Chancellor Alistair Darling and energy minister Ed Miliband threw their weight behind the project that encourages banks to lend to wind power firms a day after the government paved the way for a huge expansion of nuclear power.<br /><br />&ldquo;We need greener sources of energy&hellip; non-carbon energy is very important. The fact that the EIB is here, and that there are representatives from the banks shows just how important it is,&rdquo; Darling said. <br /><br />&ldquo;In fact, it&rsquo;s a pleasure to be here on behalf of my banks,&rdquo; he joked, referring to the part state-owned RBS and Lloyds.<br /><br />Miliband said the money was part of the government&rsquo;s plan to inject much needed liquidity into the sector and secure the development of clean energy, which has taken a hit in the credit crunch.<br /><br />&ldquo;The recent turbulence in the financial markets has affected the availability of loan finance for smaller and medium sized projects,&rdquo; Maria McCaffery, chief executive of the British Wind Energy Association (BWEA) said.<br /><br />The EIB will supply &pound;700m of the cash, with the remaining half coming from the partner banks. The financiers did not rule out teaming up with other retail banks, should they be interested.<br /><br />Britain is seeking to cut its carbon emissions by 80 per cent, equivalent to 1990 levels, by 2050.<br /><br />FAST FACTS WIND ENERGY<br />&9679; Lloyds Banking Group, RBS and BNPParibas are lending &pound;700m to onshore windfarms, while the EIBis pumping in a further &pound;700m.<br /><br />&9679; Alistair Darling and Ed Miliband teamed up yesterday to welcome the loans.