European funds and programmes
The budget of the European Union for the period 2014-2020 only represents about 1% of the EU-28 Gross National Income (GNI). That is far to be sufficient to match with European ambitions. Nevertheless, it plays a driving role in influencing budget priorities and leveraging investments at national, regional and local levels.
The EU budget is closely linked to the five priorities of the EU 2020 strategy: employment; research and development; climate/energy; education; social inclusion and poverty reduction.
Comparing to the previous programming period (2007-2013), the European Union increased the amount allocated to energy efficiency and renewable energy projects to some EUR 45 billion, giving a signal that a shift towards a low carbon economy is one of its top priorities. The most important funding instruments that finance sustainable energy investments (hard measures) are the European Structural and Investment Funds that are co-managed by the European Commission and Member States. The European Investment Bank is also becoming more and more active in financing local energy transition and climate projects.This funding could give a significant boost to local energy transition.
The European Commission also announced that public money should be spent in a more sustainable way. The EU budget is limited and will never be sufficient if disbursed in the from of grants. The objective is to progressively move from grants to revolving financing instruments such as loans, guarantees and innovative financial instruments, in particular for projects that are viable on the current market. Public budget will be used as a seed money to trigger much bigger private investments.
The EU funding opportunities for local sustainable energy projects in the programming period 2014-2020 are summarised here below.
What kind of activity are you searching funding for?
exchange of experience, transfer of knowledge, peer learning, networking, organisation of events, preparation of energy and climate strategies & actions plans, research & studies, implementation of pilot and demonstration projects, development of innovative products, services, initiatives, business models and financing schemes, communication campaigns and involvement of stakeholders, etc.
trainings and education, reskilling qualified workforce, up-scaling skills, recruitment of experts, development of training programmes, etc.
preparation of investments, recruitment of new staff and experts, market studies, feasibility studies, energy audits, preparation of tendering procedures and contractual arrangements, structuring of business plans, etc..
Hardware costs are excluded.
hard measures such as retrofitting of buildings, new buildings, public lighting, production of renewable energy, district heating and cooling, cogeneration, etc.
Some of the information on this page has been extracted from: Covenant of Mayors - Funding Instruments