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Project Development Assistance


Project Development Assistance (PDA) will be provided to public and private project promoters such as public authorities or their groupings, public/private infrastructure operators and bodies, energy service companies, retail chains, estate managers and services/industry. The aim of the action is thus to build technical, economic and legal expertise needed for project development and leading to the launch of concrete investments.

The proposed investments will be launched before the end of the action which means that projects should result in signed contracts (or launched tendering procedures as appropriate) for sustainable energy investments to that effect, e.g. construction works, energy performance contracts, turnkey contracts.

The PDA focusses on the sectors of existing public and private buildings; street lighting; retrofitting of existing district heating/ cooling; energy efficiency in urban transport (such as transport fleets, the logistics chain, e-mobility, modal change and shift) in urban/sub-urban agglomerations and other densely populated areas and energy efficiency in industry and services.

Whilst proposals may address investments into distributed, small-scale renewable energy sources in combination with energy efficiency, the main focus should lie on capturing untapped high energy efficiency potentials.

Proposals should have an exemplary/showcase dimension in their ambition to reduce energy consumption and/or in the size of the expected investments. Proposals should also deliver organisational innovation in the financial engineering (e.g. on-bill financing schemes, guarantee funds, or factoring funds) and/or in the mobilisation of the investment programme (e.g. bundling, pooling or stakeholder engagement). Innovation should be demonstrated taking into account the state-of-the-art. In addition, proposals should demonstrate a high degree of replicability and include a clear action plan to communicate experiences and results towards potential replicators across the EU.

This PDA facility focuses on small and medium-sized energy investments of at least EUR 7.5 million to EUR 50 million[[It is complemented by the ELENA facility which provides project development assistance for larger scale investments.]].

The Commission considers that proposals requesting a contribution from the EU of between EUR 0.5 and 1.5 million would allow this specific challenge to be addressed appropriately. Nonetheless, this does not preclude submission and selection of proposals requesting other amounts.

As underlined in the Investment Plan for Europe, there is continued need for building a solid and transparent pipeline of sustainable energy investment projects to help the EU unlock additional investments and in order to demonstrate their financial viability and attractiveness, in particular, to private investors. Whilst there is already a significant pipeline of large scale renewable energy projects, investors and lenders need to gain more confidence on investment projects related to energy efficiency which are still seen as risky and fragmented. EU added value can be obtained in particular where projects introduce innovation to the market regarding project aggregation and financing solutions minimising transaction costs and engaging the private finance community as well as where projects demonstrably remove legal, administrative and other market barriers for mainstreaming large scale sustainable energy investment schemes.

Proposed actions are expected to demonstrate the impacts listed below (wherever possible, use quantified indicators and targets):

  • Delivery of a series of sustainable energy investment projects and innovative financing solutions and/or schemes;
  • Every million Euro of Horizon 2020 support should trigger investments worth at least EUR 15 million.
  • Primary energy savings, renewable energy production and investments in sustainable energy triggered in the territory of participating parties by the project within its duration (respectively in GWh/year and million Euro of investments per million Euro of EU funding),
  • Demonstration of innovative and replicable investment financing solutions, documenting feedback/uptake from potential replicators.