Launched in July 2011, the European Energy Efficiency Fund (EEEF) will utilise available funds from the European Energy Programme for Recovery. The European Commission is investing EUR 125 million in the Junior Tranche of the Fund, partly assuming the economic risks associated with the investment projects. The European Investment Bank is committing EUR 75 million to the Mezzanine Tranche and Senior Shares. Further commitments have been made by the Cassa Depositi e Prestiti (CDP), who will contribute EUR 60 million to the Mezzanine and Senior Shares, and Deutsche Bank, who will invest EUR 5 million in the Mezzanine Tranche. Deutsche Bank will also act as the Investment Manager for the fund. The EEEF hopes to raise the total value of the fund – which currently stands at EUR 265 million – to approximately EUR 800 million by attracting further investors. A technical assistance facility is also available to support investments pursued under the EEEF.
The fund is part of a new sustainable energy facility, as a public-private partnership that aims to support energy efficiency and renewable energy measures across the European Union.
The EEEF aims to support the goals of the European Union to promote a sustainable energy market and climate protection. In particular, it will fund projects by municipal, local and regional authorities – as well as public and private entities acting on behalf of those authorities – addressing energy efficiency, small-scale renewable energy and clean urban transport.
Speaking at the launch of the fund, the President of the European Investment Bank (EIB), Philippe Maystadt, said: “We expect the fund to focus on smaller scale investments by local authorities or energy service companies (ESCOs), thereby complementing the larger scale finance that the EIB already offers for energy efficiency investments throughout the European Union.”
A website has been launched to provide information concerning the aims and objectives of the EEEF, as while as the potential financing opportunities for sustainable energy actions at the local and regional level.
The European Investment Bank (EIB) and the Spanish Energy Saving and Diversification Institute (IDAE) have signed an agreement to launch a JESSICA holding fund designed to finance energy efficiency and renewable energy projects across ten Spanish regions through the innovative use of EU structural funds.
The agreement was concluded in Madrid in July 2011, and was signed by the EIB Vice-President Magdalena Álvarez Arza and the Secretary of State for Energy, in his capacity as Chairman of IDAE, Fabrizio Hernández Pampaloni.
The initial fund of EUR 127.6 million – which will be managed by the EIB – will incorporate capital contributions from the 2007-2013 ERDF Regional Operation Programmes for Andalusia, the Canaries, Castilla y León, Castilla-La Mancha, Ceuta, the Valencia Region, Extremadura, Galicia, Melilla and the Murcia Region.
The resources of the FIDAE (the Energy Saving and Diversification Investment Fund) – which will be channelled through urban development funds – will finance energy efficiency, renewable energy and clean transport projects in the construction, industry, transport and energy-related public service infrastructure sectors. The funding will be primarily provided in the form of loans, and to a lesser extent as venture capital and participating loans.
Furthermore, it is hoped that the fund will leverage additional private financing to reach a total investment target of EUR 600 million by the end of December 2015.
Speaking at the launch of the fund EIB Vice-President Magdalena Álvarez Arza underlined “the multiplier effect of the JESSICA initiative, which will make it possible to increase the volume of financing for projects contributing to greater energy efficiency and more sustainable growth, in line with the objectives of the EIB and the European Union”. She went on to stress “the ability of these instruments to foster job creation and economic recovery by giving a boost to a highly innovative sector in which Spain represents an international benchmark.”
The European Commission and the EIB, in cooperation with the Council of Europe Development Bank, developed the JESSICA (Joint European Support for Sustainable Investment in City Areas) initiative to enable Member States to utilise a portion of their EU grants (the so-called structural funds) to make refundable investments in the urban environment.
The annual call of the 7th Framework Programme for Research and Technological Development (FP7) offers a variety of funding opportunities for energy research. Launched in July, it addresses a range of areas, including: energy, energy efficient buildings, smart cities and communities.
Energy research – which is specifically addressed under the energy theme of the FP7 – has a total budget of EUR 2.35 billion (for 2007 – 2013). The management and implementation of this funding is overseen by both the European Commission's Directorate-General for Research and the Directorate-General for Energy.
The energy theme funds research in a number of areas, including: hydrogen and fuel cells; renewable energies for electricity, fuel production and heating and cooling; CO2 capture and storage technologies for zero emission power generation; smart energy networks; and, energy efficiency and savings.
In terms of the FP7 energy theme, local authorities may been especially interested in two calls: Smart Cities and Communities and "Energy-efficient Buildings" – 2012.
With a budget of EUR 40 million, the deadline for the Smart Cities and Communities call is 1 December 2011. Submissions to the “Energy-efficient Buildings” – 2012 call, which has been allocated a budget of EUR 140 million, must also be made by 1 December 2011.
Three ManagEnergy workshops are set to take place across Europe in October. The events – which will be held in Paris, Tartu and Athens – will address a range of issues, including the ManagEnergy initiative, energy planning and financing for sustainable energy actions.
The first event – which will be organised in partnership with the City of Paris – is set to take place in the French capital on 6 October. Entitled “Quantification and reporting on energy & climate on a territory: Focus on the cadastral method”, the workshop is aimed at local authorities, particularly signatories of the Covenant of Mayors and Covenant Supporters in France.
This workshop aims to develop the capacity of Covenant signatories in terms of the energy and CO2 reporting and quantification requirements of their Sustainable Energy Action Plans (SEAPs). It will address possible barriers to SEAP development and implementation, and will draw key stakeholders together to share best practice.
The Tartu ManagEnergy workshop, entitled “Sustainable Energy Action Plans in Estonia: Regional Cooperation, Best Practices & Financing Options”, will be held on 12 October. The event will address the capacity constraints currently hampering the implementation of SEAPs in Estonia.
Organised in association with Tartu Energy Agency and Kredex, the workshop will focus on capacity building in four key areas: energy planning and SEAP development; building understanding of the Covenant of Mayors; examples of good practice in areas such as building renovation, energy efficient and renewable energy; and, financing for sustainable actions.
Athens will host its own ManagEnergy workshop on 14 October. The “Smart financing & technical support for sustainable energy actions in Greece” event – which is supported by the Aegean Energy Agency – aims to explore funding opportunities for sustainable energy actions and provide alternative, smart solutions for financing and citizen involvement.
In addition to addressing cooperative funding schemes for renewable energy projects, the workshop will provide capacity building in three main areas: funding instruments for sustainable energy investments at the local and regional level; involving citizens and ensuring public acceptance through cooperative funding schemes; and, technical assistance to cities and regions.
The ManagEnergy Education Corner has produced a new interactive e-book, entitled: "Reduce your footprint and change your world", which will be available in 23 languages from the 'Energy - It's Your Future' website for students aged 12-16.
The animated e-book is already available for download in 9 languages (including: English, French, German, Spanish and Italian) and reminds students how they can contribute to 2020 targets by using sustainable modes of transport, choosing energy efficient and eco-friendly products, recycling, buying local produce, and becoming involved in initiatives such as the UN's Billion Tree campaign. The new book complements the 3 existing Education Corner ebooks on renewable energy sources, energy saving and sustainable transport.
The new ebook also links to the ManagEnergy Vocational Training Corner, which now includes links to more than 420 resources across Europe, covering qualifications, training and apprenticeships, as well as undergraduate and masters degree courses in energy management, sustainable buildings, renewable technologies and other areas of sustainable energy and transport.
By sharing tips on low-carbon lifestyles and green job opportunities, ManagEnergy aims to actively involve Europe's young citizens in helping to meet 2020 targets on GHG reduction, and motivate them to explore the great potential offered by sustainable careers.
The interactive ebooks have also proved popular at events run by local energy actors, where they can be displayed on screen in the local language. For further information contact firstname.lastname@example.org.