The European Commission TA Facility linked to the eeef is proving to be a powerful tool for public authorities to receive the capacity needed (whether internally or externally) for elaborating on their potential investment plans for green investment programmes, in particular the feasibility and bankability of planned projects. Three further projects completed the final stage of TA successfully, including the Spanish Cities of Terrassa and Marbella as well as the Portuguese public authority Alentejo Central (CIMAC).
The TA beneficiaries have been working intensively over the past years in the fields of energy efficiency and renewable energy with the intention to implement a series of measures in order to keep their cities clean and sustainable. The TA programmes aimed to launch i) building retrofit projects through energy performance contracts (EPC); ii) upgrades of street lighting systems; iii) public vehicle replace-ment schemes and iv) small-scale renewable energy including photo voltaic (PV) installations. In total the three projects initiated the upgrade of around 100,500 lighting points to improved technologies such as LED. The Cities of Terrassa and Marbella as well as the Portuguese public authority Alentejo Central created together an investment volume of EUR 46.3m by receiving initial support (TA funds) from the European Commission Technical Assistance managed by European Energy Efficiency Fund (eeef), leading potentially to 40-60% of savings between the different technologies of the projects.
The public authorities have recognised energy efficiency as an important tool to reduce operational costs, and at the same time to contribute positively to their economy and environment by creating new jobs.
André Espenica, First Secretary of CIMAC (Intermunicipal Community of Central Alentejo), sees a great opportunity for the municipalities in implementing energy efficiency measures under the umbrella of the European Commission Technical Assistance support scheme - the key enabler to overcome project difficulties. “The special feature of this initiative was to pool smaller projects in a bigger scheme, thereby representing 14 municipalities which received TA funds. The TA support was also pivotal to keep all Mayors and municipal technicians involved in the development of the project and achieve the main goals – to upgrade public lighting and improving energy efficiency in public buildings. In addition the project contributed to the preparation of renewable energy production infrastructure to be developed in our municipalities, to reduce environmental pollution in our territories.”
The European Energy Efficiency Fund (eeef) S.A., SICAV-SIF is a “société d’investissement à capital variable” governed by Luxembourg law and initiated by the European Commission in cooperation with the European Investment Bank. eeef increased the initial capitalisation provided by the European Commission with contributions from the sponsors European Investment Bank, Cassa Depositi e Prestiti as well as the investment manager Deutsche Bank. eeef is an innovative public-private partnership dedicated to mitigate climate change through energy efficiency measures and the use of renewable energy in the member states of the European Union.