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FINESSS Report Summary

Project ID: 717707

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - FINESSS (Financing Energy Saving Solutions for SMEs)

Reporting period: 2016-03-01 to 2016-11-30

Summary of the context and overall objectives of the project

The EU has set the objective to improve energy efficiency (EE) by 20% in 2020 as part of its Europe 2020 ambition. The European Commission has indicated that around € 100 billion is annually needed to meet this ambition. However, investments in EE are not made at the scale required meet this objective. This is especially true for EE investments by Small and Medium-Sized enterprises (SMEs). SMEs are the backbone of Europe’s economy. They represent 99% of all businesses in the EU, create around 85% of new jobs and provide two-thirds of the total private sector employment in the EU . EE investments directly impact the bottom-line of SMEs, thereby enhancing overall competitiveness of and employment generation by Europe’s SMEs.
Two key factors prohibiting scaling up investments in EE by Europe’s SMEs are (a) EE investments are generally not core business of SMEs (and hence compete for scarce internal financing with core business), and (b) lack of suitable and accessible external financing solutions.
Significant funding is available in Europe to finance EE projects. However, small-scale investments are not attractive to existing financiers, mainly because of high transaction costs, the difficulty of originating deals and the difficulty of developing a scalable business model. Too little EE investments are therefore made by 99% of all business in EU: the SMEs. Current market parties are evidently not bridging the gap between these small but crucial EE investments and available funding. VOLGROEN has a business model that can bridge it: we provide financial solutions to SMEs, enable financial markets to invest in small scale EE measures, and thus provide a scalable and replicable business model.
Volgroen has proven its product in the Netherlands. The objective for the feasibility study is to develop an EU roll-out plan and business plan in which is determined which next markets and how VOLGROEN B.V. should launch its financing products for energy saving measures for SMEs.

Work performed from the beginning of the project to the end of the period covered by the report and main results achieved so far

The objective for the feasibility study was to develop an EU roll-out plan and business plan in which is determined which next markets and how VOLGROEN B.V. should launch its lease product for energy saving measures for SMEs.
In order to do so, a three step approach was taken:
A. Perform a quick scan of 15 different EU markets,
B. Select and validate promising initial markets, and
C. Draft a business plan for VOLGROEN’s European expansion.

Results include:
1. A multi-criteria decision-model for selecting focus expansion countries.
2. Volgroen European expansion business plan.

Progress beyond the state of the art and expected potential impact (including the socio-economic impact and the wider societal implications of the project so far)

Volgroen provides Energy-as-a-Service. Volgroen moves beyond the current state of the art of clean energy financing by focusing on enabling suppliers and installation companies to deliver their equipment as a service. We also focus on small-scale energy projects, typically <50€k. These small-scale projects hold tremendous potential, but are currently underserved. Through our partnerships with technology partners we have a rapidly scalable solution to reach these small-scale projects.

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