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The public consultation period for the Draft Energy Strategy has now closed. Thank you for your written submissions and/or for your comments during our public consultation meetings in London, Istanbul, Belgrade, and Moscow.
A summary of the public comments received will be made available to the Board of Directors before final approval by the Board. While taking into account comments made during this exercise, the Bank will not respond individually to public comments or communications.
After the Strategy has been approved a summary of public comments received, as well as management’s response, will be posted on the Bank’s website as set out in EBRD's Public Information Policy.
The Strategy will set the parameters for the Bank’s work in the energy sector and will therefore shape and frame the EUR 1.5 billion the EBRD typically invests in this sector each year. Since 2006 much has changed both in the energy sector and in the wider economic context. At the same time EBRD has expanded its activities to new countries. This new Energy Strategy aims to ensure that the Bank’s approach reflects recent changes in the energy sector and continues to best meet EBRD’s mandate [i].
The energy sector is at the heart of the Bank's mandate to foster the transition to market-oriented economies in its countries of operation, and to promote environmentally sound and sustainable development.
Transition challenges persist in the Bank's countries of operations. Markets are still small, prices are not cost-reflective and private participation is limited. Similarly environmental costs are not reflected in prices and carbon intensity remains high. As a consequence and as a legacy of decades of a command economy, the level of energy and other resource efficiency is low and many actors fall short of best international standards in corporate governance, transparency, technology and environment, health and safety and social practices. The scope for cross-border trade in energy is often restricted by a lack of infrastructure. While concerns about energy security are widespread, the focus is often on ensuring energy self-reliance, rather than strengthening the cross-border links that would deliver security more effectively and efficiently. Many of the Bank's countries also suffer from the damaging effects of explicit or implicit energy subsidies that distort economic behaviour, burden fiscal and public companies' balance sheets, with some countries also experiencing erratic, poor quality or unpredictable energy supply.
Secure, affordable and sustainable energy
Against this background, the sector is challenged to deliver energy that satisfies the three goals of security, affordability and sustainability. In this context, the Bank's role is to promote the systemic changes that shift the policies, assets, institutions, actors and regulations towards a model characterised by: competitive interactions, pricing that reflects all costs and benefits, diverse, deep and liquid markets, widespread private participation and the regulatory and physical infrastructure that facilitates these markets. Mainstreaming in this setting the Bank's key instrument, the Sustainable Energy Initiative, the Bank will build on two complementary elements: the first focuses on energy demand efficiency and seeks to the extent possible to contribute to decrease energy intensity; the second is oriented to support the cost effective development and efficiency of energy supplies.
Continued focus on transition impact
The Bank's operational approach for the coming five years is shaped to tackle the remaining transition challenges. It will combine investments, policy dialogue and technical cooperation in an effort to shift the energy sector towards more market-oriented structures. It will aim to promote efficiency and enabling investments, such as networks, that open up options and allow diversification. As such, the Bank will support the evolution of energy systems towards a model focused on empowering consumers and opening up new business models for both the supply and consumption of energy. Across all countries the Bank will pursue the expansion of markets, the liberalisation of prices and more extensive private sector participation. A key theme in this effort will be the importance of clear, objective and predictable regulation as the basis for attracting new investors.
The Bank will promote the transition to a low-carbon model throughout the energy sector. A key part of this will be the efficiency agenda that is considered as part of all activities the Bank will pursue. It also includes support for cleaner production of energy through greater resource efficiency, for example by reducing gas flaring. The Bank will also continue within a defined framework to support fossil fuel generation, recognising the essential role this has in meeting energy needs, as well as the significant scope for efficiency and environmental improvements. Similarly, the Bank will pursue the promotion of renewable energy, building critical mass in established markets, as well as supporting first movers and new technologies in newer markets. In doing so, the Bank will also aim to shape frameworks for renewable energy that are market-based and characterised by long-term viability. In those countries of operation which are significant energy producers the Bank will also help diversify local economies and support the best standards in corporate and institutional governance and transparency.
The Bank'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.
[i] The first Article of the Agreement Establishing the Bank states that "the purpose of the Bank shall be to foster the transition towards open market-oriented economies and to promote private and entrepreneurial initiative in the Central and Eastern European countries committed to and applying the principles of multiparty democracy, pluralism and market economics."
In order to achieve these objectives, the Bank primarily provides finance for investment projects, with a special focus on the private sector, carefully selecting projects that promote transition by:
In addition, every Bank project is examined for its environmental impact and the EBRD places special emphasis on projects that are oriented directly towards environmental improvements and energy efficiency.
Last updated 19 July 2013