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BERLIN (Reuters) - Most of the funding for Europe's push into green energy needs to come from the private sector, the president of the EU's long-term lending arm said on Monday, adding that the continent's credibility hinged on its ability to manage the shift.

"If we want to switch to renewables in Europe on a permanent basis, the lion's share (of investment) needs to come from the private sector," Werner Hoyer, president of the European Investment Bank (EIB), said at the annual Handelsblatt renewable energy conference.

A fully-fledged debt crisis and tougher capital requirements for financial institutions have curbed investor appetite for the investments that are badly needed for the expansion of renewable energy, most notably in Germany, Europe's top economy.

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