Description/achievement of initiative
Advancing Sustainable Energy for Europe: i) to deliver sustainable green infrastructure to cities; ii) ensure efficient use of resources and of renewable resources by the public users, allow access to clean energy sources (electricity or heat ) to citizens; iii) generating revenues for communities via selling green electricity into the grid; iv) upgrading infrastructure in deprived communities; v) implementing projects in cities in the frame of circular economy initiatives or smart technology concepts.
This initiative is carried out by investing into projects that have been identified by public authorities to improve their communities' carbon footprint via facilitating investments including i) energy efficiency inc. public building upgrades and upgrades of public street lighting infrastructure, ii) renovating district heating networks and iii) replacing heat supply capacities with renewable energy sources. The eeef is approached for financing by private parties that have been awarded a public concession or an energy supply agreement with a public body. For a project to be awarded a concession, it needs to complete the public procurement process. The eeef considers project for investment once concessions have been awarded. The Fund has various ways to invest into projects i) it can provide funding to a project vehicle that has been set up by a private party that holds the concession for a public assets to be upgraded or to implement a renewable energy project ii) it can invest equity into a project vehicle that has been set by a private party that holds a concession for a public asset that is to be upgraded or in the case of a renewable energy project newly built iii) it can provide funding directly to the public authority or to the entity set up by the public authority dedicated to conduct the upgrade works or construct the new sustainable energy supply capacities iv) it can buy receivables from a private company that has performed the construction/renovation works in accordance to the agreement with the public authority. In this case the project is structured in such a way that the public authority is repaying the investment from the energy savings (without constraining its budget) v) it can invest together with a private entity in a number of projects including district heating networks to supply renewable heat and electricity to a public entity to a price lower than the base case (of when the project was generating with fossil fuels). The eeef can also be approached directly by public authorities that are seeking financing for their energy efficiency or renewable energy initiatives. The other implementation instrument that the initiative is using is a Technical Assistance facility, which will be described below.
Arrangements for Capacity-Building and Technology Transfer
To prepare local energy efficiency upgrade projects is complex and often challenging for public entities due to the need to i) conduct energy audits, ii) calculate potential energy savings, iii) propose and select new equipment for replacement, iv) prepare the bidding process, v) evaluate the tender and vi) select the company to implement the project. This process can take up to 3 years for Cities, especially when they have large populations > 200k. The eeef understands the complexity of such projects and since the inception of the Fund has been equipped with a Technical Assistance facility. Initially this was provided by the European Commission and this TAF successfully fulfilled its objective by supporting project development at the public level. Between 2011 and 2016 the facility supported over 30 public entities, facilitating over EUR 400 m in investments, some of which were financed by the eeef including the City of Santander in Spain, the City of Venlo in the Netherlands, the Alentejo region in Portugal and Region Rhone Alpes in France. When the Technical Assistance facility from the European Commission came to an end, the eeef continued to develop this important resource by building a new facility to support public entities to prepare their investment programmes. Since 2014 the Fund has allocated part of its revenues to its own technical assistance facility. These funds have been supplemented by additional funding provided by ELENA, under the Horizon 2020 Programme of the European Union. The eeef's Technical Assistance facility (eeef TAF) builds on the experience gained from its predecessor facility. The current technical assistance is structured in a way that provides services to public entities to i) conduct energy audits, ii) prepare procurement documents, iii) conduct the energy service company selection process to realise renovation measures and iv) select financing instruments. These services are paid for by the fund (the advisors were selected via a competitive and process where the advisor pitched to conduct the aforementioned services) and contribute to build capacity within the public authorities. Once the public tender has been awarded, the Fund is available to finance the renovation measures.
Coordination mechanisms/governance structure
The eeef has been established and capitalised by the European Commission to promote energy efficiency, renewable energy and clean public transportation at the level of public entities, cities, communities. The fund can support eligible projects via different financing instruments. When a project/investment has been identified by the public authority and published for tender when a private company is selected to realise the project implementation, funding from the fund could flow into the project implementation vehicles or finance the investment directly. All investment proposals identified must be in line with the investment guidelines of the fund. These clearly stipulate investments criteria in general, comprising exclusion list and pro area of investment defined parameters for investment. All investment proposals, once they have been reviewed from a technical, legal and financial point of view, will be tabled for approval by the eeef's independent investment committee. Once approved, the Fund invests via project vehicles or the investment is paid directly to the private company awarded the tender. Funds will be disbursed in line with construction progress. The Fund has established a reporting mechanism for all projects comply with. The reporting is reviewed by the Investment Manager of the Fund and distributed to investors. The Governing bodies of the Fund are represented by investors that review activities of the Fund on a regular basis and also outline and refine the investment strategy of the Fund. The eeef is a regulated vehicle by the Luxembourgish authority CSSF which oversees activities of the fund.
European Union , European Investment Bank, Cassa Depositi i Prestiti, DWS
DWS is the Investment Manager for the European Energy Efficiency Fund