Balkans get Energy Efficiency and Renewable Boost

ELECTRICAL blackouts and insecure power supplies have plagued the Western Balkans but are likely to become a distant memory thanks to investment in energy efficiency and renewable energy.

The EBRD is providing financing under the Western Balkans Sustainable Energy Direct Financing Facility (WeBSEDFF), targeted to help the region’s transition to renewable energy.

WeBSEDFF provides debt financing to companies in Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, FYR Macedonia, Kosovo, Montenegro and Serbia for renewable energy and industrial energy efficiency projects.

This €100 million programme, targeted at small and medium-scale projects, is forecast to cut CO2 emissions by half a million tonnes per year - the equivalent of taking 200,000 cars off the road.

By investing energy efficiency and renewable energy projects, the EBRD is setting an example, and thus potentially encouraging local commercial banks to provide similar tailor-made financing.

One of the pioneering faces of the WeBSEDFF is its project finance approach. Other innovative aspects include an incentive payment mechanism, a possibility to monetise the expected CO2 emission reductions, as well as technical assistance for project preparation and an Institutional Capacity Building programme.

The recent achievements have encouraged the WeBSEDFF and the EBRD to continue investing in the private sector in the region. The Bank is now planning to venture into so called ESCOs- energy savings companies.

Picture of Mostar by rejflinger from Vienna, Austria (Mostar at duskUploaded by Smooth_O) [CC-BY-2.0], via Wikimedia Commons

Monday 23rd December 2013

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