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Current focus and key challenges

An operational approach for secure, affordable and sustainable energy through the transition to a market oriented energy sector. Against this background the challenge to the energy sector is to deliver energy that is secure, affordable and sustainable. EBRD's operational response to this challenge has seven pillars:

  • Energy efficiency and demand side measures. EBRD will work across the entire value chain in the energy sector to promote efficiency and to work through the energy sector to stimulate efficiency among consumers and innovative ways to manage and reduce demand.
  • Building deep and liquid energy markets. EBRD will pursue the expansion of markets, both domestic and cross border, the liberalisation of prices and more extensive private sector participation. A key theme is the importance of clear, objective and predictable regulation as the basis for attracting new investors. In this context EBRD will support energy interconnections with the aim of building ever greater regional integration. In those countries of operations which are significant energy producers EBRD will also help diversify local economies and promote the prudent management of those countries' endowments. 
  • Rethinking energy systems. Recognising the rapid changes new technologies are stimulating in the energy sector EBRD will support the evolution of energy systems towards a model focused on empowering consumers, investing in smart grids, driving demand-side efficiency and opening up new business models for both efficient energy supply and consumption.
  • The low carbon transition. In the context of a growing climate challenge, EBRD will, as a key priority, promote the transition to a low-carbon energy sector. The efficiency agenda that is relevant to all EBRD's activities will be central to this approach, as will growing support for renewable energy sources and policy dialogue to promote the move to prices that reflect all costs, including those of externalities.
  • Cleaner energy production and supply. EBRD will support the cleaner production and distribution of energy through greater energy and resource efficiency, for example by reducing gas flaring or investing in cleaner transport fuels or fuel switching from coal to gas. In the case of coal-fired generation, the low-carbon transition necessitates a fundamental shift away from coal as a source of electricity and heat.

    Accordingly the Bank will not finance investment in this sector except in rare and exceptional circumstances, where there are no feasible alternative energy sources.
  • Setting standards and best practice. In a sector that has widespread impacts on society and the environment, EBRD will promote the adoption of best international standards in environmental, health and safety and social practices as well as in transparency and corporate governance.
  • The wider role of the energy sector. EBRD will promote an energy sector that generates economic inclusion, that provides the reliable energy that all economies need and that offers equal opportunities to all.

EBRD's vision for the energy sector is of a partnership between industry, governments and consumers that delivers the essential energy needs of societies and economies in a manner that is sustainable, reliable and at the lowest possible cost.

Last updated 10 December 2013