EBRD's Sustainable Energy Finance Facilities funding hits €1.8 billion

By Svitlana  Pyrkalo

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Funding under the EBRD’s Sustainable Energy Finance Facilities (SEFFs) programme has reached €1.8 billion. This key Bank initiative is now estimated to be cutting carbon dioxide emissions by more than 2 million tonnes a year, roughly the annual CO2 output of a city the size of Yerevan.

The annual sustainable energy contribution of SEFFs projects financed to date is predicted to be equivalent to more than 5 million MWh; more electricity than is currently consumed by Armenia.

The new figures were released as the EBRD hosted its third SEFFs conference at the Bank's London headquarters. Around 150 participants gathered, representing the Bank, partner financial institutions, international and local experts from the SEFFs implementation teams and the donor community.

The Sustainable Energy Financing Facility is a special credit programme that supports smaller companies as they invest in sustainable energy projects. In addition to providing funds via local banks, each SEFF is supported by a technical cooperation programme that helps to identify profitable investment opportunities and promote best practices.

The Bank also strives to increase awareness of the benefits of sustainable energy investments and policy dialogue in the Bank's region of operations, which is one of the most energy intensive in the world.

At the conference experts and practitioners assessed current trends and challenges in sustainable energy financing as well as reviewing the SEFFs initiative.

“The SEFF programme has broken new ground, proving that investors can achieve eye-catching returns from energy efficiency investments in transition economies. That could not be more important,” said Michael Liebreich, Chief Executive of Bloomberg New Energy Finance. 

He added that investments in clean energy were increasing worldwide, a trend that will be reinforced by recent developments such as the Arab Spring’s impact on oil prices and the Fukushima nuclear disaster.

“There is an urgent need to reinforce national energy plans and extend their clean energy components," Mr Liebreich said.

The EBRD has already provided SEFFs loans to more than 50 partner banks which have on-lent more than €400 million to hundreds of enterprises and tens of thousands of households in 15 countries in the EBRD region.

EBRD funding approved for SEFFs has reached a total of €1.8 billion, while bilateral and institutional donors have contributed over €200 million to support SEFF implementation.

“Our SEFFs are continuously expanding and developing” said Ian Smith, Senior Manager in the EBRD’s Energy Efficiency Team. “The commitment of the participating financial institutions and their close interaction with SEFF implementation teams is the key success factor to us deploying SEFFs effectively. It is therefore extremely valuable that the people at the forefront of SEFF implementation are able to share their experiences and shape the future of the Bank’s SEFF products.”

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