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EBRD celebrates excellence in financing energy efficiency in Turkey

By Olga Rosca

The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development has recognised the outstanding contribution of its partner banks in Turkey: Akbank, Denizbank, Garantibank, Isbank and Vakifbank, to the financing of energy efficiency.

The first ever Excellence in Sustainable Energy Financing Awards is an initiative within the EBRD’s Turkey Sustainable Energy Financing Facility, TurSEFF, – a key financing instrument helping businesses and homeowners cut their energy bills. 

Since 2010 the EBRD’s TurSEFF has provided a total of US$ 285 million worth of credit lines to Turkish banks for on-lending to small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) and households implementing small-scale energy efficiency and renewable energy projects. TurSEFF is complemented by concessional funding and technical assistance financed by the Clean Technology Fund and the European Union.

As of today, about 90 per cent of the total funding has been disbursed to 346 eligible sub-borrowers. More than 50,000 individual households in Turkey have benefited from energy-efficient heating and cooling technology through vendor finance schemes financed under the TurSEFF umbrella.

Attending the awards ceremony, EBRD Director for Financial Institutions in the southern and eastern Mediterranean, Turkey and Ukraine, Francis Malige said: “We are delighted to honour the efforts by our partner banks to promote energy efficiency and low-carbon practices through their tailored lending products. By securing financing particularly to SMEs’ energy saving projects, the EBRD contributes to their sustainable development and to raising the overall competitiveness of the Turkish economy. The partner banks are crucial to the successful implementation of this programme.

“These banks contribute to Turkey’s transformation into an energy-efficient and low carbon market economy, while unlocking new investment opportunities for themselves. I am particularly pleased that some of these pioneering banks are taking steps towards adopting sustainable energy finance as a standard lending product,” said Mike Davey, EBRD Director for Turkey.

“Building on the successful implementation of TurSEFF, the EBRD in cooperation with donors is working on developing similar financing instruments specifically targeted at SMEs but also at energy efficiency in the residential and municipal sectors,” he added.

As a result of the investments implemented under TurSEFF industries are more competitive, residences are more comfortable, the intensity of fossil fuel use has been reduced and significant amounts of greenhouse gas emissions have been avoided.

Collectively, TurSEFF-funded investments represent combined energy savings of 286,000 tonnes of oil equivalent per year, similar to the annual household energy consumption of Adana, a city of 1.5 million inhabitants.

Annual CO2 savings resulting from implementation of these investments stand at around 815,000 tonnes – the equivalent of the annual emissions of 325,080 passenger cars running 15,000 km per year. The EBRD is committed to continuing investing in sustainable energy across all its countries of operations. As of November 2012, the Bank’s energy efficiency and renewable energy portfolio has reached €10 billion (over US$ 13 billion equivalent) since the launch of its Sustainable Energy Initiative (SEI) in 2006. The Bank aims to invest a further €5 to €6 billion in this area from 2012-14.

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