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RoundBaltic - Promotion of Smart Finance for Smart Buildings in the Baltic Region with focus on Poland, Latvia and Denmark

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - RoundBaltic (RoundBaltic - Promotion of Smart Finance for Smart Buildings in the Baltic Region with focus on Poland, Latvia and Denmark)

Reporting period: 2020-09-01 to 2022-02-28

The RoundBaltic project addresses the societal challenge of a need to accelerate the implementation of energy efficiency and notably address the requirements of capital to finance the transition. The overarching objective of the RoundBaltic project is to support the implementation of the Smart Finance for Smart Buildings initiative in the Baltic Sea Region, notably the project’s direct target countries Poland, Latvia and Denmark. RoundBaltic refer to the same objectives as Sustainable Energy Investment Forums (SEI Forums) to 1) build momentum for energy efficiency investments, 2) Building capacity on developing and sustainable energy investments and 3) Reinforcing relations between the SEI Forums stakeholders and their networks.

The overall areas of intervention are:

Investment framework
Aiming to a create an investment friendly framework, incl. fulfilment of the financial pillars
Develop common understanding and roadmaps to improve access to sustainable energy finance

Design of financing instruments
Facilitating the implementation of financial pillars
Facilitating long-term strategy for mobilising investment in the renovation of residential, commercial, and public buildings

Energy efficiency finance initiatives
Showcase specific initiatives and implementation concepts (EPC, one-stop-shop)
Trigger identification of new initiatives or strengthen existing ones

This goes along an effort to engage better the financial sector and to build capacities on sustainable energy finance among key stakeholders in the target countries/regions.

Similar to SEI Forums RoundBaltic bring together representatives of the financial and energy efficiency sectors to discuss and find solutions to the challenge of energy efficiency finance. Key focus areas are how to ensure an investment friendly framework along designing of financing instruments in accordance with the financial pillars more effective use of public funds, aggregation and project development assistance, and de-risking. A third focus area is to showcase specific initiatives as well as triggering new investment initiatives within existing private and public buildings, industry and SME’s, street lighting, district heating, transport infrastructures and integrated renewable energy sources. At the stakeholder level a key intention is to engage the financial sector in conjunction with building capacities of project developers, incl. public authorities, on how to develop EE investments according to the policies.
The reporting period has comprised the following key phases of activity:

M1-6: Project mobilisation and strategy for intervention
• KoM in M2
• Detailed and coherent plan for the intervention in each target country (WP2, 3 and 4) in conjunction with mobilisation of the project stakeholders
• Plan for networking, experience exchange and learning events (WP5)
• Communication and Dissemination Plan (WP6)
• Work planning documents, incl. detailed workplan for the project activities across all WP

A key activity in the project's mobilisation phase has been to elaborate a diagnosis report (D2.1 submitted by M5) with in-depth review of the situation in each target country/region, followed by an intervention plan (D2.2 submitted by M6) for the project activities to be undertaken in accordance with the diagnosis.

M7-8: Focus on national roundtables
• Holding of national roundtables with the key intention of elaborating road maps for the project intervention in dialogue with stakeholders from the financial and energy efficiency sector

The first round af national roundtables were held in Poland, 23-24 March 2021, in Latvia, 6-7 May 2021, and in Denmark, 18 March 2021, all online. The roundtables were succesful in terms of exploring ways to improve the energy efficiency investment framework and identifying specific energy efficiency finance initiatives. Moreover, they contributed to sharing good practice experiences on the national scale as well as exploring how the financial sector can be better engaged in energy efficiency finance activities.

M9-16: Creating momentum for energy efficiency finance in the target countries Poland, Latvia and Denmark
• Holding of regional roundtables aiming to build capacities and trigger energy efficiency actions, with the following parallel activity:
o Helping to put in place a supportive framework (WP2)
o Enabling actions aiming to generate sustainable energy investments (WP4)
o Networking, experience exchange and learning events with internal focus (WP5)
o Dissemination and Communication efforts (WP6)

Regional roundtables have been held in the target regions: Kurzeme and Vidzeme in LV, Central Denmark, Region of Southern Denmark and East-Denmark in DK and Dolnoslaskie, Kujawsko-Pomorskie, Lodzkie, Pomorskie and Podlaskie in PL. The scope of these roundtables has been to mobilise the regional/local stakeholders and set the scene for the intervention as how RoundBaltic can bring momentum to trigger energy efficiency finance actions on the ground. The discussion at the roundtables incl. ideas and recommendations for actions has been described in the event proceedings along road maps for the enabling actions as part of the follow-up.

The target sectors are public buildings, home renovations and SME-industry sector in Poland and Latvia, in Denmark home renovations, social housing and SME-industry sector.

Two learning events (online) have been organised for the project stakeholders in the Baltic region and beyond, the first one 13'th September with focus on how to engage the financial sector and a second 10th February 2022 on the development of ESCO market and EPC to promote the attraction of energy efficiency projects and investments. News bulletins have been made on the project activities along with website, national exchange activities and other dissemination and communication activities.

M17-18: Mid-term evaluation of the achievements
• Evaluation the project achievements so far
• Adjusting intervention strategies according to the evaluation
• Extract good practice and other findings for the project’s dissemination

At the IR stage the consortium has made a mid-term evaluation of the project achievements so far, notably an evaluation of the fulfilment of the project's impact indicators against the original targets set for the action. The main findings of this is explained in the technical periodical report as well as the project's first version of D4.1 Documentation of Enabled Actions.
A key planned delivery of the RoundBaltic project is 3 national Roundtables (Entry Roundtable and 2 follow up roundtables) and 2 roundtables per target region. There are three target regions in Denmark, two in Latvia and seven in Poland, giving a total of 33 roundtables, including 24 regional roundtables, is planned within the project.

At IR stage a national roundtable has been held in each country followed up by 3 regional roundtables in Denmark, 5 regional roundtables in Poland and 2 regional roundtables in Latvia, meaning a n total 12 roundtables out of 33 roundtables. For each regional roundtable, a roadmap has been developed indicating actions at regional level and needed supportive actions at national level (part of WP4).
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