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

Okres sprawozdawczy: 2022-03-01 do 2023-08-31

The RoundBaltic project addressed the societal challenge of a need to accelerate the implementation of energy efficiency and notably the requirements of private capital to finance the transition. The overarching objective of the RoundBaltic project has been 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 intervention areas primarily concerned establishing an investment-friendly framework tailored to each target country, encompassing the fulfillment of financial pillars and the design of suitable financing instruments. Simultaneously, efforts were made to establish increased collaboration with the financial sector and enhance the understanding of sustainable energy finance among key stakeholders.

In a parallel fashion to SEI Forums, RoundBaltic convened representatives from the financial and energy efficiency sectors. These gatherings aimed to facilitate discussions and devise solutions for the challenges associated with energy efficiency finance. Key areas of focus included ensuring an investment-friendly framework, designing financing instruments aligned with financial pillars, optimizing the use of public funds, implementing aggregation and project development assistance, and mitigating risks.

The target sectors for intervention varied based on the country: public buildings, home renovations, and SME-industry sectors in Poland and Latvia, and in Denmark, the focus encompassed home renovations, social housing, and the SME-industry sector. From the project's inception, specific energy efficiency target sectors and indicative investment volumes were defined for each country, outlining the desired outcomes of the project's intervention.

Project duration: Sept 2020 - Aug 2023.
The project period has comprised the following key phases of activity:

M1-6: Project mobilisation and strategy for intervention
A key activity in the project's mobilisation phase was 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.

M7-8 + M19-24 + M33-34: 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 successful 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.

A second round of national roundtables were held in the period M19-24 that brought feedback from the regional/local level on how to shape the investment framework to pave way for energy efficiency and engage the financial sector in such development. A third and final round of national roundtables were held in M33-34 to bring further feedback from the regional/local level and address the implications for the regulatory and market framework, incl. the revision of EU Directives and their provisions within energy efficiency finance.

M9-16 + M26-34: 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)

A first series of Regional roundtables were held in M9-16 and a second series M26-34 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 per target sectors as part of the follow-up.

Six learning events 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. A third learning event concerned the use of Energy Performance Certificates as a tool to promote financing of energy efficiency measures and a fourth learning event focused on deep energy renovation and a standardised approach to energy efficiency financing. A fifth learning event dealt with energy efficiency investments with focus on the multifamily housing stock in Germany and Poland and the sixth and final learning event displayed the achievements and experience gained under RoundBaltic. News bulletins have been made on each learning event along with update of project activities incl. website, 15 case studies, national exchange activities and other dissemination and communication activities.

M17-18 + M30-36: Mid-term and final evaluation of the achievements
• Evaluation of the project achievements
• Adjusting intervention strategies according to the evaluation
• Extract good practice and other findings for the project’s dissemination

The consortium made a mid-term evaluation and a final evaluation of the project achievements, notably an evaluation of the fulfilment of the project's impact indicators against the original targets set for the action. The findings of this is explained in the project's D4.1-4.4 Documentation of Enabled Actions as well as D5.2 Impact Assessment report.
RoundBaltic brought highly important impact for energy efficiency finance in Poland, Latvia and Denmark with good prospects for further development in each country, the Baltic Region and EU-wide. The project's evaluation report assessed the quantitative and qualitative aspects of these achievements. The impact assessment has made clear that the project intervention has helped to trigger sustainable energy investments for a volume of 1,618 MEUR, which is considerably higher than the original investment (interval) target of 238 - 469 MEUR. It also paved way for building the structures to drive the process beyond the project period, incl. roadmaps for the 12 regions targeted by the project intervention.
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