A seminar organised by the Eastern Europe Energy Efficiency and Environmental Partnership (E5P) on “Investment opportunities for Georgian municipalities within the framework of E5P” took place on 13 March 2015 in Tbilisi.
recently joined the Eastern Europe Energy Efficiency and Environment Partnership (E5P), a multi-donor international fund set up to promote energy saving investments in the Eastern Partnership countries.
E5P supports projects in the municipal sector by providing grant co-financing alongside loans from the participating international financial institutions (IFIs) such as the EBRD, European Investment Bank (EIB), Council of Europe Development Bank (CEB), Nordic Environment Finance Corporation (NEFCO), Nordic Investment Bank (NIB), KfW and the World Bank.
The Fund has resources of close to €170 million, with €20 million allocated as grant financing for Georgia. Overall the European Union (EU) is the largest contributor to E5P, with pledged funds of €70 million. Contributors to the Georgian window of E5P include: the EU, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Georgia, Germany, Lithuania, Norway, Poland, Sweden and the United States of America.
The objective of the seminar was to learn about the investment needs of Georgian municipal companies and to find ways of matching these with the grant and loan co-financing mechanism offered by E5P.
Compared to the EU average, the energy intensity of Georgia is about 2.5 times higher. Georgia has vast resources of almost all types of renewable energy and an untapped potential to save energy in its buildings. Waste management and public transport could also benefit from E5P grant funds.
The participants in the seminar included representatives from the Georgian state authorities, municipal companies, international financing institutions active in E5P, ambassadors and honorary representatives from the donor countries, and the European Union as the largest contributor to the Fund.
According to Anders Lund, Е5Р Fund Manager, “The seminar provided an opportunity to understand the energy efficiency problems of municipalities in Georgia and find solutions to them with a group of key players from the sector”
David Lezhava, Georgia’s Deputy Minister of Finance, commented: ‘It is an excellent opportunity for Georgia to finance environmentally friendly investments. We are hopeful that E5P resources will increase as we move forward. Joining E5P instantly boosted demand for such projects. Demand is so high from Georgian municipalities, and there are so many project proposals from the donors and IFIs, that we will have to select only the very best.’