OER, the Romanian Network of Energy Cities, announces the launching of a new financing instrument, European City Facility (EUCF), a ground-breaking initiative that will support local authorities from the EU-27 and UK to develop investment concepts for accelerating the implementation of their energy & climate action plans.
EUCF opened the first call for proposals: 25 May 2020 to 2 October 2020. The initial duration of the call (2 months) has been extended due to the extraordinary circumstances resulting from Covid-19 outbreak.
Investment Concepts, that is pre-feasibility studies, such as market-barrier analysis, local stakeholder analysis, legal- and governance analysis, serve the identification of potential project pipelines. As a basic financing strategy and a roadmap for implementation, these investment concepts represent an initial step towards a fully-fledged business and financial plan.
A simple and transparent application process in local language allows municipalities to respond to the call within the limits of their resources. Throughout the entire application process, municipalities will be supported through country experts in their language. In Romania, the Country Expert is represented by the OER Association, OER being also the National Dissemination Network.
Successful applicantswill benefit from capacity building and peer learning activities for developing sound investment packages and receive financial aid of up to EUR 60,000. Funding Sources for financing these strategies may subsequently derive from both, the private sector (development banks, commercial banks, etc.), national investment platforms but also other EU-funded programmes, such as the European Fund for Strategic Investments (EFSI), the European Structural and Investment Fund (ESIF), Project Development Assistance facilities (PDA), e.g. the ELENA facility of the European Investment Bank.
Taking into account many of the barriers particularly small- and medium-sized municipalities are facing, such as limited human and financial resources, lack of experience and expertise in developing investment packages, and generally conservative approaches to project financing, the EUCF steps up here and supports local investments in sustainable energy and energy efficiency.
Advantages of Joint Applications: Following the application period (25 May 2020 to 2 October 2020), a dedicated team of evaluators will take 2 months for evaluating the applications. This evaluation will be based on the ambition of energy saving and expected investment, as well as qualitative criteria (stakeholder-engagement, governance structure etc.). Since the ambition of both, energy savings and investments may increase through the aggregation of sustainable energy projects, local authorities and their groupings are strongly encouraged to join forces and resources and submit joint applications!