Periodic Reporting for period 1 - Triple-A (Enhancing at an Early Stage the Investment Value Chain of Energy Efficiency Projects)
Reporting period: 2019-09-01 to 2020-09-30
The Triple-A scheme tries to mainstream EE investments focusing on the pre-screening process, supporting the identification of attractive projects and creating standardised tools and benchmarks.
The gap could be identified in the concept development phase of EE investments. Project developers do not have the expertise or resources to make a convincing case for investors, while investors often lack the knowledge to understand how project developers do business, especially at an early stage of project identification. The majority of financial institutions have not EE-based criteria for selecting the most attractive project, since the sole criterion remains the creditworthiness of the borrower.
Triple-A addresses this challenge by answering the following questions:
• How to assess the financing instruments and risks at an early stage?
• How to agree on the Triple-A investments, based on selected key performance indicators?
• How to assign the identified investment ideas with possible financing schemes?
The Triple-A scheme includes three steps, answering each of the abovementioned questions respectively:
• Step 1 - Assess results in the Member States (MSs) risk profiles and Mitigation Policies, including a Web-based database that enables comparability per MS and sector, exchange of experiences on good practices among the MS and facilitation of the replicability, leading to fruitful policy analysis for scaling-up EE investments and reducing uncertainty for investors / financiers. Complete risk assessment of projects and incorporation of EU Taxonomy eligibility criteria are the main pillars of the Assess step.
• Step 2 - Agree results in Standardised Triple-A Tools with guidelines, templates, and procedures, accelerating and scaling up private Triple-A investments.
• Step 3 - Assign results in In-country Demonstrations, Replicability, and Overall Exploitation, including recommendations on what EE investments are feasible in the national and sectoral context, as well as on how they could be financed in practice.
Triple-A investments are being identified in 8 case study countries, namely Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Germany, Greece, Italy, Lithuania, Spain, the Netherlands, strategically selected to promote diversity considering economic conditions, energy challenges and geographical location.
Regarding the progress on stakeholder dialogue and capacity building, a plan was delivered with more than 500 stakeholders identified (project developers, financiers, investors, policymakers, academia) across 8 case study countries. 24 bilateral meetings were realized, with almost 60 stakeholders engaged, while 77 questionnaires on EE in the building sector were filled in. Triple-A Advisory Board was established consisting of 8 Members.
A risk matrix on EE financing was formulated and the risk of each type of EE investment was assessed. More than 15 financing instruments and risk mitigation strategies have been identified, while efforts towards collecting data of real EE projects are intensified.
A draft version of the Triple-A Web-based Database on EE Financing (https://aaa-h2020.eu/database) was developed, incorporating results from the status quo analysis and the categorization of the financing instruments and risk mitigation strategies per case study country.
The Triple-A scheme was defined and the steps Assess and Agree are materialised through the draft Standardised Triple-A Tools (https://toolbox.aaa-h2020.eu/). User guidelines are available, explaining Triple-A Tools functionalities and the user inputs required. The Assess Tool inspects the compliance of the candidate projects with EU Taxonomy, having a Go / No-Go character, while performing an assessment of the project’s total risk. The Agree Tool benchmarks the candidate projects, considering major Financial, Risk and Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) criteria, making use of a multicriteria classification method. Similar platforms and tools were explored (EEFIG Underwriting toolkit, DEEP Platform, LAUNCH ESCO contract, EBRD ESG risk assessment) and interoperability with the DEEP platform was established.
Initial steps made on the identification of Triple-A EE projects and robust financing programs. In practice, 50 projects have been identified and 25 of them tested in the Triple-A Tools. A working document was developed with guidelines for the EE investments pipeline and a project fiche template was created.
The Triple-A communication and dissemination strategy was developed to engage stakeholders and promote results. The Triple-A website has more than 14,200 pageviews and 8,200 unique visitors (https://aaa-h2020.eu/) while Triple-A social media have more than 380 followers. It is estimated that more than 2,500 stakeholders were reached in the context of dissemination and stakeholders engagement activities.
Visual identity and templates, 1 Triple-A leaflet, 3 promotional brochures (English & Czech), 3 factsheets, 1 roll-up poster, 2 videos and 1 infographic are some of the dissemination materials produced. 4 Triple-A newsletters and 2 press releases have been circulated. 6 scientific publications were presented in conferences and journals, while the project has 21 articles and more than 50 references in relevant media. Triple-A partners co-organised a workshop at the EUSEW 2020 Policy Session, while also participated in 33 external events. Finally, synergies with 30 relevant EU projects have successfully been established.
The final version of the Triple-A Tools will provide a standard rating to project ideas, which could be used to aggregate similar projects and create financial products that could be traded in secondary markets.
Online webinars series will be organised addressing asset owners and project developers, while bilateral meetings will be organised with stakeholders that wish to develop projects.
Substantial is the promotion of the Triple-A Tools among target groups, since almost 40 investors and project developers have already test them. The Agree Tool will be applied to at least 100 EE projects that will emerge from the Assess Tool, while 50-80 Triple-A investments and robust financing programs will be identified in each case-study country. It is envisaged that at least 50 project fiches will be developed, ready for underwriting between financiers and project developers. Finally, Triple-A recommendations on supporting policy and legislative development and market architecture will be provided.
The primary energy savings triggered by the project up until now are 64.03 GWh/year, while the budget of the investments in sustainable energy triggered by the Triple-A amount to 27.68 million EUR.