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The European Commission TA Facility linked to eeef is successfully helping public authorities to transform to resilient, cleaner and sustainable places

The European Commission Technical Assistance Facility (EC Technical Assistance) linked to the European Energy Efficiency Fund (eeef) proved to be an important facilitation tool for public authorities to receive the capacity needed - whether internally or externally - for elaborating on their initial ideas for sustainable investment programmes. Between December 2011 and March 2016, the EC Technical Assistance Facility supported the project development activities of 16 public beneficiaries in eight Member States of the European Union, including Belgium, Ireland, Denmark, France, the Netherlands, Spain, the United Kingdom and Portugal.

By the end of 2017, the EC Technical Assistance successfully facilitated 10 projects leading to a total investment volume of €194.4 m, which are at various stages of implementation. Four Technical Assistance projects (€53.9 m) have already achieved financial close with the eeef, including Région Rhône-Alpes (a building retrofit project in France), the City of Venlo (a street lighting project  in the Netherlands), the Ore Valley Housing Association (a project related to energy conservation measures in the United Kingdom) and the City of Santander (a public lighting project based in Spain); while three further Technical Assistance projects (€94.2 m), including the Groupement de Redéploiement Economique Liège (a building retrofit project based in Belgium), the University of Liège (another building retrofit based in Belgium) and partly the City of Córdoba (a public lighting  and  building retrofit project in Spain), are under completion with the Technical Assistance beneficiaries’ own funding and/or other regional sources. Further projects, including two Spanish cities and a Portuguese region, aim to reach completion soon, with eeef financing under discussion. For further information please refer to the attached executive summary of the European Commission Final Report prepared by the Investment Manager.

These green investment programmes are expected to deliver around 26,701 tonnes of CO2e savings and estimated primary energy savings of 146,942 MWh per annum helping the public authorities to transform to resilient, cleaner and sustainable places. 

The EC Technical Assistance Facility was a well-perceived project development opportunity in the European sustainable energy market and helped projects to finance energy audits, feasibility studies and the preparation of implementation plans, including procurement procedures. It closed its operations by the end of 2017. Going forward, public authorities will receive Technical Assistance support from the eeef’s newly created Technical Assistance Facility. For further information on the eeef Technical Assistance Facility, please visit:

Megan Richards, chair of the eeef Supervisory Board and director of the European Commission stated that ‘the EC Technical Assistance facility helped local and regional governments to undertake energy efficiency improvements that, in turn, can be examples to others and demonstrate how to develop projects, build appropriate financial models and develop local skills to invest in efficient energy – the cheapest energy of all.’

According to Lada Strelnikova, Lead Investment Manager of the eeef, ‘We, at eeef, have closely accompanied our Technical Assistance beneficiaries along a holistic project value chain providing appropriate technical expertise and financing to help them realise their sustainable investment plans. Considering the increasing urbanisation of cities, sectors such as energy and lighting have the largest impact on the climate change debate. Cities need assistance to lead the energy transition as the front-runners. We are delighted to see the fruitful outcome of a great partnership with our public authorities.’

The European Commission is the EU's politically independent executive arm. It promotes the general interest of the EU by proposing and enforcing legislation as well as by implementing policies and the EU budget.

The European Energy Efficiency Fund (eeef) S.A., SICAV-SIF is a “societé d’investissement à capital veriable” governed by Luxembourg law and was initiated by the European Commission in cooperation with the European Investment Bank. The initial capitalization provided by the European Commission was increased with contributions from the European Investment Bank, Cassa Depositi e Prestiti as well as the Investment Manager Deutsche Bank.

Executive Summary

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Italian Ministry of Defense collaborates with the eeef’s Technical Assistance Facility to refurbish the Ducal Palace of Modena

The Italian Ministry of Defense (Ministero della Difesa) is the third public authority to benefit from eeef’s Technical Assistance Facility (TAF). The TAF will provide services for the building retrofit project at the historical Ducal Palace in Modena, Italy.

The Ducal Palace of Modena is one of the most important historical public buildings in Italy. The Palace was the residence of the Este Dukes of Modena for more than two centuries and is today owned by the Italian government. It stands on a site previously occupied by a castle built in the 13th century by Obizzo d'Este, Marquis of Ferrara. In 1598, Modena became the capital of the Este Duchy and there were requirements for a European court to be built. Duke Francesco I d'Este commissioned the building of the Ducal Palace in 1634 by the architect Bartolomeo Avanzini, with contributions by Gian Lorenzo Bernini, Francesco Borromini and Gaspare Vigarani. The architecture of the Palace reveals a unitary style, a solemn and elegant baroque and, for its size and splendor, is among the most prestigious palaces in Europe. The Ducal Palace was the seat of the Estense Court until the last Duke Francesco V of Austria-Este (1859) when it became the Military school of Central Italy.

The building is currently used by the Ministry of Defense and houses the headquarters of the Military Academy where military students are trained. Additionally, part of the Eastern Tower of the Palace houses the University of Modena and Reggio Emilia’s (UNIMORE) geophysical/meteorological observatory and the first floor is used as a museum where guided tours are offered by the Municipality of Modena.

The Italian Ministry of Defense’s Energy Task Force identified that an Energy Performance Contracting (EPC) model could provide a solution for energy refurbishment of the Military Academy. The Energy Task Force and UNIMORE completed a concept feasibility study which indicated a potential project volume of EUR 8.1m. This investment volume identifies it is necessary to invest circa. EUR 5m in upgrading space heating systems and circa. EUR 3.1m for building envelope upgrades.

eeef’s TAF will provide consultancy services to complete fully-fledged feasibility studies within the Palace to clearly identify the current infrastructure and propose appropriate improvement measures within a building of such historical value. From the concept study completed by the Energy Task Force and UNIMORE it is anticipated the upgrades will include new heating systems and building envelope energy conservation measures such as wall insulation. All of the recommendations will be in compliance with the architectural constraints required by law to protect the historical heritage of the Palace. The proposed measures will help to maintain one of the most historical buildings in Italy according to latest energy standards and offer the military students and staff access to a better learning environment.

eeef is welcoming other European public authorities to follow in the footsteps of the City of Gijón, the Province of Ferrara, and the most recent example of the Italian Ministry of Defense in launching comparable projects – the eeef Technical Assistance is available for further applications. Please visit:

The eeef Technical Assistance Facility (eeef TAF) has also received funding from the ELENA Facility under Horizon 2020 Programme of the European Union and is assisting public authorities to prepare feasibility studies, energy audits, evaluate the economic viability of investments and launch the tender process.

The Italian Ministry of Defense via its Energy Task Force arm is a reliable partner to carry out and manage this unique project. The Energy Task Force was born two years ago nevertheless its staff has a consolidated experience in the field of energy efficiency and public works.

The European Energy Efficiency Fund (eeef) S.A., SICAV-SIF is a “societé d’investissement à capital veriable” governed by Luxembourg law and was initiated by the European Commission in cooperation with the European Investment Bank. The initial capitalization provided by the European Commission was increased with contributions from the European Investment Bank, Cassa Depositi e Prestiti as well as the Investment Manager Deutsche Bank.

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Advancing Sustainable Energy for Europe

The European Energy Efficiency Fund (eeef) is an innovative public-private partnership dedicated to mitigating climate change through energy efficiency measures and the use of renewable energy in the member states of the European Union.

It focuses on financing energy efficiency, small-scale renewable energy, and clean urban transport projects (at market rates) targeting municipal, local and regional authorities and public and private entities acting on behalf of those authorities.