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Rhodoshop – a pilot programme to facilitate investment in energy efficiency by creation of One-Stop-Shop in Rhodope Region of Bulgaria.

Periodic Reporting for period 2 - Rhodoshop (Rhodoshop – a pilot programme to facilitate investment in energy efficiency by creation of One-Stop-Shop in Rhodope Region of Bulgaria.)

Reporting period: 2019-03-01 to 2021-08-31

Rhodoshop project aims at assisting local public authorities and other stakeholders in small sized rural municipalities in Rhodope Region of Bulgaria in successful launching and implementation of sustainable energy projects. It is an initiative of six pioneering municipalities in the Rhodope region and focuses on creation of a pilot programme for financing investment by establishing Rhodoshop - a structure to act as central procurement agency on behalf of local authorities to undertake energy retrofitting works in their buildings and street lighting systems. Rhodoshop represents the innovative financing model of one-stop-shop replicated in Rhodope/Bulgarian context, focused on building investment project pipelines that will combine/bundle suitable projects in the subscribed municipalities (with the possibility to include others in the course of work) in order to gain critical mass and get better financing terms. After accomplishing the pipe-lines respective public tenders will be launched in compliance with Green Public Procurement principles in order to make the best choice of environmentally friendly, energy efficient and cost effective products and services.
The overall objectives for the project are to:
- Increase the capacities, skills and knowledge of Rhodope local authorities by creating of Rhodoshop, one-stop-shop for energy efficiency initiatives in the region based on the successful experience of GRE-Liege financial model RENOWATT. Rhodoshop will be a procurement agency, acting on behalf of public authorities that undertake energy retrofitting works in their own existing buildings and street lighting systems.
- Develop a pipeline of sustainable energy investment projects allowing for project aggregation and financing solutions minimising transaction costs;
- Come up with suitable financing solutions for realization of energy savings in Rhodope Region (EPC, Energy efficiency funds, bank loans, national funding sources, etc.).
- Launch concrete sustainable investment projects in Rhodope municipalities.
- Ensure long-term impacts of the Rhodoshop efforts after the life-time of the project by engaging in a dissemination programme within Bulgaria and within EU for project results multiplication.
1. Establishment of Rhodoshop one-stop-shop and getting ready for operation:
• Legal set-up the Rhodoshop as a dedicated structure, part of ARM;
• Organize logistics of Rhodoshop accommodation – office premises and equipment;
• Organize staffing of Rhodoshop;
• Organize training of the selected staff
As a result the Rhodoshop one-stop-shop is fully operational with its staff trained and started implementing the foreseen investment project pipe-lines.
2. Operation of Rhodoshop:
• Selecting potential projects – pools of buildings and street lighting systems;
• Development of pipelines of sustainable energy investment projects through energy audits and feasibility studies;
• Investigation of possible financing sources and selection of most appropriate ones depending on project specifics.
• Research on TPF and ESCO market conditions;
• Setting up financing plans for the selected project;
• Establishment and constant update according to priorities of the municipalities of the two pipelines of sustainable energy investment projects - for buildings and for street lighting systems.
• Performing of energy audits and feasibility studies for investment projects in the pipelines.
• Investigation of possible financing sources and selection of most appropriate ones depending on project specifics;
• Setting up financing plans for the investment project;
• Assisting municipalities in applying for funding for the most advanced projects;
• Assisting municipalities in tender preparation and launching;
As a result the overall table with investment projects has been developed, the project pipelines have been developed according to the stage of advancement, energy audits schemes have been realized, and contractor for technical and economic feasibility studies selected. For the first most advanced projects public tender notice have been published.
3. Monitoring the impact of Rhodoshop operation:
In order to constantly monitor the developments of Rhodoshop pipelines and their impacts, two xls files have been created for monitoring of investment pipelines for building and for street lighting systems, and for summary of investment, and these have been constantly updated. Also a separate xls file with Table 2.a from GA, representing the current status of project pipelines, have been created and maintained. As a result of monitoring currently there are investment contracts signed for 2,9 MEuro and another 0,4 MEuro in the process of signing.
4. Dissemination, communication and exploitation of results:
• Dissemination and exploitation strategy was prepared;
• Works on creation of a web-platform: an introduction to the project was placed at ARM web-site: http://www.arm-bg.net/rhodoshop/ and a brand new project web-site is being developed expected to be up and running by the end of April 2019;
• Production of promotional materials: logo and graphic charter were produced, and promotional package (leaflet electronic and printed, 500 copies in Bulgarian and 500 copies in English, and a bilingual roll-up in EN and BG) were elaborated and started being distributed during different events;
• Production of background information about the project (ppt presentations) was done with quotes about results and milestones;
• Participation in local/national and international events: Rhodoshop was presenetd at 9 national and international events in the period;
• The prepared Dissemination and Exploitation Strategy have been followed;
• The web-platform rhodoshop.eu is up and running and have been updated with the most recent results of Rhodoshop operation;
• Promotional leaflets have been disseminated;
• ppt presentations have been prepared and delivered at different events (listed in WP5 description of work)
• Preparation and participation in local/national and international events: 4 events in total (one canceled due to COVID-19). Rhodoshop project results and achievements were presented at the Conference “Market Finance for Energy Efficiency Investment in EU and China”, held on 20 September 2019 in Qinhuangdao, China, upon invitation of the organizers.
• Publication of press materials in local press- two press releases have been prepared;
Within its 60 months pilot phase Rhodoshop PDU is expected to mobilize in total 6.6 MEUR investments for energy efficiency improvements in 33 public buildings and 1.1 MEUR investments for refurbishment in street lighting networks in 39 settlements of Rhodope Region. The energy savings resulting from the action are assessed to 11.3 GWh/year.
Rhodoshop summary information