Financial instruments for energy efficiency in the programming period 2014-2020, Vienna, 20 October 2016
Sharing knowhow about financial instruments for energy efficiency was the focus of the fi-compass event on 20 October 2016 in Vienna, Austria. Representatives from Lithuania and the Hauts-de-France region presented their experience of designing, setting-up and implementing financial instruments supporting energy efficiency.
This was the first in a new series of fi-compass thematic workshops. The 55 delegates included representatives from managing authorities, regional and national authorities, intermediate bodies, financial intermediaries, and consultants.
Pieter Coppens from the European Investment Bank welcomed participants, highlighting the importance of dialogue and exchanging experience to enhance the use of financial instruments, which was encouraged by the interactive format of the workshop.
The fi-compass case study from the Hauts-de-France region describes a financial instrument that supports both energy efficiency and renewable energy. The financial instrument is embedded in the wider strategic context of the region’s development. Its design is based on a regional market assessment that identified unmet needs for equity investments supporting the low carbon economy. It is currently the first regional thematic investment platform combining resources from the ESIF and the European Fund for Strategic Investments (EFSI). It benefits from a mezzanine loan from the European Investment Bank guaranteed by EFSI and provides equity and quasi-equity financing to SMEs and mid-caps developing projects related to the low carbon economy. Other features highlighted by the regional managing authority representative, Philippe Farvacque, and the fund managers Guillaume Thomé from Finorpa and Julien Watry from Nord Capital Partenaires, were the need for constant coordination between the managing authority and the fund manager, as well as the technical support grants also provided through the financial instrument aimed to support projects structuring before investment.
Lithuania's managing authority representative Agnė Kazlauskaitė highlighted the benefits of ESIF financial instruments to enhance the use of public resources. Lithuania has a lot of experienced in using financial instruments for multi-apartment buildings renovation. Experience from the 2007-2013 period has helped to design the follow-up programme in 2014-2020. The financial instruments have already helped improve living standards, as well as strongly benefiting the construction sector and diversifying energy supplies. The success of support for multi-apartment buildings will benefit future financial instruments targeting public buildings and wider infrastructure.
Lively dialogue involving delegates and EU experts confirmed participants’ interest and the importance of the topic. Delegates discussed the possibilities of additional technical support, the scope of eligibility requirements as well as the practical application of indicators for assessing projects.
In addition to being a unique learning experience, the seminar offered great exchange of best practices and networking opportunities.