ELENA: up to 90% funding for major sustainability projects in the public sector
- Published: 26 April 2016
Many government institutions in Europe lack the technical expertise and organisational capacity to implement large energy efficiency and renewable projects. The European objectives in the field of sustainability and the need to reduce energy use are clear, but to actually realise major projects in this area appears to be a big challenge for local government.
The European Investment Bank runs an interesting funding programme called ELENA (European Local ENergy Assistance) that offers a solution to this problem. Funding for ELENA comes from the European Commission’s Intelligent Energy Europe II (IEE) programme and covers up to 90% of the technical support cost needed to prepare, implement and finance the investment programme, including market studies, energy audits and tendering procedure preparation.
ELENA funding helps local and regional authorities to develop project plans to execute large investment projects (over £20 million) in the field of climate and renewable energy. ELENA supports local authorities in their objective to achieve the European '20 -20-20 target' (20% less CO2, 20% less energy and 20% of total energy consumption must come from renewable sources).
Examples of Investment programmes where Elena can help:
- Increase energy efficiency of public and private buildings (including social housing, traffic lights and street lighting)
- Integration of renewable energy in the built environment
- Renovate, expand or build district heating and cooling
- Sustainability in transport
- Improving local infrastructure receivers for energy efficiency, smart grids, ICT, intermodal transport facilities and alternative fuels
In addition, ELENA can help cover the cost of hiring new employees to develop the plan.
Energy saving and renewable energy is a hot topic in many European, national and regional funding programmes and ELENA is one such programme that focuses on the planning and deployment phase of major energy projects undertaken by government.
ELENA also supports funding opportunities for research and development projects in companies and research institutions and from 2017, ELENA will also be open for grant applications from the private sector.