Sustainable energy finance is rapidly developing, with many new instruments coming into play to accelerate the transition to a low carbon society. As key aggregators, local authorities are challenged to move beyond grants and work with financial institutions to set up financial instruments. Experience from the ManagEnergy community shows that it is more difficult to set up bankable project pipeline than to raise the finance – but the opportunities for local green growth are significant.
Economists increasingly predict that SMEs will be the force behind the economic restructuring and energy transition that the future stability of Europe depends on. Moreover, SMEs are the backbone of the European economy. They make up more than 99 per cent of all European businesses, provide two out of three private sector jobs and contribute to more than half of the total added value created by businesses in the EU.
Bristol has made a name for itself as one of the UK’s most progressive cities – and is currently holding the prestigious Green Capital title . Now, with help from the EIB via ELENA funding , Bristol is setting up its own energy company. A spokesperson from Bristol City Council tells us all about it.
Supported by Intelligent Energy Europe, the project Mobilising Local Energy Investment (MLEI) Cambridgeshire (L-CIF), which has been running since late 2012, aimed at testing the business case for a local Low Carbon Investment Fund by using public money and public sector projects to leverage private investment and develop a bankable pipeline of projects.
This year, hundreds of schoolchildren attended prestigious European universities to learn some important survival skills – climate protection and resource efficiency.
The context for sustainable energy has changed rapidly during the last decade – with many new players – financial institutions, national authorities and grassroots initiatives (such as the community energy movement ) engaged and active in the field.
Energy performance contracting (EPC) has been in place in the EU for over thirty years, but the market remains underdeveloped. This is despite increasing and volatile energy prices, federal and state energy-savings mandates, and a growing awareness of the need for large-scale action to limit greenhouse gas emissions. This is the assessment of Volker Dragon, Senior Manager Industry Affairs with Siemens Technologies and Chairman of the European Association of Energy Service Companies.
European Utility Week is Europe’s biggest smart utility event. It offers a unique platform for dialogue and exchange between energy professionals from all sectors of the market as well as policy-makers, with over 10 000 attendees, including representatives of 400 utilities.
Ralf Goldmann, Deputy Technical Advisor, Energy Efficiency & Small Scale Energy Projects Division, Energy Department, European Investment Bank (EIB) , who will be presenting at the upcoming ESCO Europe conference , offers an insight into the Bank’s involvement in project aggregation and its support of energy efficiency programmes.
According to Lieven Vanstraelen, Co-CEO, Inerginvest, Belgium, who will be speaking at ESCO Europe 2015, one of the most distinct trends in the European ESCO market today is that of aggregation. A growing number of projects are coming out, such as Gre-Liège, where aggregation is being used to kickstart the markets. This trend, which began two years ago, is even more accentuated today.
The workshop was convened by the Executive Agency for Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises (EASME), in cooperation with DG Regio and Dg Energy. During the workshop, project promoters from Europe’s cities and regions described local approaches to innovative financing solutions for sustainable energy projects. This is of particular importance in the context of the European Structural and Investment Funds allocation of EUR 40 billion to the low carbon economy.
Energy agencies originated over twenty years ago under the SAVE programme. As local and regional climate action goes mainstream, the role of the energy agency is changing along with public perception and support for sustainable energy. Are energy agencies coming of age?
Renovate Europe Day (REDay 2015), now in its fifth edition, is taking place on 15 October. Learn more about REDay 2015 here. To mark the occasion, ManagEnergy brings you the best of Europe’s building renovation programs led by public authorities – from Lithuania, France, Estonia, Spain, Germany, and Ireland.
See ManagEnergy’s pick of events below – stay tuned for reports or follow us @EU_ManagEnergy – and if you’re in Brussels come and say hello.
Happy Open Days – see you there!
The upbeat tone of the occasion was set by the Executive Director of European Commission’s Innovation and Networks Executive Agency (INEA) Dirk Beckers, who said ‘It’s going to be a very interesting and important day.’ And it certainly was – if you missed out you can watch here.
Interested stakeholders – such as staff working on mobility in municipalities or regional authorities, elected officials of municipalities and regions, energy and mobility experts, members of the European Parliament and institutions – are invited to join the upcoming Open Days workshop on Active transport in the metropolitan century: Policies and measures to support walking and cycling and their impact on urban development.
June 2015 saw the launch of an exciting new project in the French region of Alsace: Zusamme Solar ! Colmar (‘Together Solar! Colmar’).
Sustainable energy is already benefitting from the European Fund for Strategic Investments (EFSI, also known as the Juncker Plan).
The GaSeS project from SENSIA Solutions, aims at developing the first low-cost handheld infrared camera for fugitive emissions, early detection and location. It is expected to increase energy efficiency in industrial plants, infrastructures and utilities; addressing the industry’s need to tackle gas leaks and increase efficiency, security, environmental care and pollution control.