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Developing and transferring an innovative Energy FInancing miX in order to activate private sector finance for increased investments in sustainable energy projects

Periodic Reporting for period 2 - E-FIX (Developing and transferring an innovative Energy FInancing miX in order to activate private sector finance for increased investments in sustainable energy projects)

Reporting period: 2019-09-01 to 2021-06-30

The private sector is expected to play an important role in reducing energy demand and in reaching the EU’s energy targets. Nevertheless, there is still reluctance to embark on renewable energy and energy efficiency undertakings. The main barriers for the realisation of such private projects relate to the development and implementation of energy projects, on the one hand, and to the access of funds, on the other.

In the target countries of the E-FIX project, there is considerable idle potential for energy efficiency and renewable energy products and services. However, both potential energy project developers and financers struggle to accurately assess the feasibility of energy projects and to achieve investment security.

The overall objective of the E-FIX project has been to prepare the European market – with a focus on countries of various EU enlargement rounds, as well as markets of countries, which have recently reached EU association status – for the intensified usage of these innovative financing mechanisms in the energy sector in order to facilitate the increase of investments in energy projects and services. The E-FIX project has thus initiated a comprehensive roll-out of energy financing mechanisms (energy performance contracting, crowdfunding models and leasing) in the 6 partner countries (PL, CZ, AT, HR, AM and GE). The underlying logic guiding this project is that an innovative Energy FInancing miX (E-FIX) is needed in order to access new sources of finance and facilitate the increased implementation of sustainable energy projects.
At the beginning of the project, partners established the baseline for further project activities by analysing the financing framework and identifying financing gaps for energy projects within each partner country. The partnership also prepared a training curriculum, which consists of general training modules (catalogue of evaluation methods and didactics) and specialist modules (leasing, EPC, crowdfunding and project finance). They are available in English, Armenian, Czech, Georgian, German, Croatian and Polish. This material has been made available on the E-FIX website and the Ambassador Platform in the form of the “E-FIX toolbox”, following a feedback round from training participants.

Not only were internal train-the-trainer sessions organised for knowledge transfer within the partnership, the partners also completed ambassador trainings in their countries, reaching a total of 284 participants. These Ambassadors received training on the different financing instruments and were also introduced to the Ambassador Platform where all of the major E-FIX deliverables were made available. The E-FIX roadmap is one of the major results of the project, presenting a vision for innovative financing for energy efficiency and renewable energy projects till 2030. In addition, 6 E-FIX Action plans were developed, focusing on concrete measures for the promotion of selected innovative financing instruments beyond the project’s lifetime. The 6 Action Plans also provide the strategic direction for the foundation of the Energy Finance Competence Centres (EFCC), which are supposed to act as national contact points for practitioners, project developers, financing providers, and possible beneficiaries. All countries organised stakeholder events to present their EFCCs.

Stakeholders were also heavily involved in the pilot financing campaigns conducted, taking part in stakeholder forums and forming implementation groups. These groups then assisted in the development of the pilot financing implementation plans. Bilateral Master Classes represented a key internal knowledge transfer activity where expert PPs worked with ‘novice’ PPs to support them in the implementation of the Pilot Financing Campaigns and the roll-out of the selected financing mechanisms in their countries. Further work carried out includes the development of dissemination and communication plan as well as the set-up of the project identity in the form of the project logo and the visual identity. A project website was also developed hosting all the project results and a Facebook page was also launched. Regular newsletters were sent out informing on project results and activities and webinars were held to inform on the usage of the Ambassador Platform and the pilot financing campaigns. In addition, both a mid-term and final conference were organised. A large number of articles were published on the project and a selected number of projects were shared on the DEEP platform.

In terms of project management, Steering Committee and partner meetings were held, in addition to monthly partnership calls to allow for the smooth implementation of the project. Overall, the project met all its objectives and targets, helping promote innovative financing instruments in the participating countries.

The project disseminated and exploited its results in a highly effective way, by publishing all major results on its website, communicating with local media, giving presentations at relevant events and liaising with other EU-funded projects working on similar topics. This has ensured that the maximum number of stakeholders possible has been reached and paved the way for the long-term usage of E-FIX’s results beyond the lifetime of the project.
The project moved beyond the state-of-the-art by empowering stakeholders to acquire know-how and experience in a field, which continues to be largely unknown or still considered to be highly risky. By testing the three innovative financing instruments in four EU Member States in addition to two countries from the European Neighbourhood (Armenia and Georgia), the E-FIX project has proven that these instruments can help promote energy efficiency and renewable energy measures, and that replication is viable beyond the end of the project.

The project has achieved the impacts it initially set out to achieve and has also exceeded its targets. In terms of enabling policy, the development of 6 Actions Plans and the E-FIX Roadmap serve as a stimulus for further policy development and initiatives related to innovative financing instruments in the European Union and in the 6 partner countries. In terms of building capacities and skills, the project has trained 134 “Ambassadors” using the E-FIX training methodology. The project has also helped develop viable and replicable innovative energy financing mechanisms, by setting up implementation groups, organising Bilateral Master Classes, preparing Action Plans for the implementation of Pilot Financing Campaigns and developing pipeline and monitoring templates using the developed E-FIX methodology.

Moreover, it has helped build infrastructure for the sustainable roll-out of innovative energy project financing mechanisms through the launch of Energy Financing Competence Centres. In addition, the project managed to trigger investments into sustainable energy project and deliver viable innovative energy financing mechanisms. In terms of cumulative investments made by European stakeholders in sustainable energy, 50 million EUR has been secured compared to the 48 million EUR target. A total investment of 31 million EUR was obtained for the pilot financing campaigns, as well as primary energy savings of 54.09 GWh/yr and RES production of 25.78 GWh/yr compared with the targets of 19.2 GWh/year and 5.5 GWh/year.
E-FIX Train-the-trainer seminar
E-FIX Kick-off meeting
E-FIX Logo