The EBRD's Armenian Sustainable Energy Finance Facility (ArmSEFF) combines credit lines with technical assistance to help local financial institutions support hundreds of small-scale sustainable energy investment projects.
The EBRD provides the initial product know-how, defining eligibility criteria and key implementation procedures, while the local financial institutions designate senior managers to take the role of product leaders responsible for integrating the product into standard financing practices.
But before deciding to participate in such a facility – with the intention to develop or enhance a financial product that goes beyond the resources provided by the EBRD – it is important for local financial institutions to understand the market potential of sustainable energy investments and identify the key selling points for clients.
Assistance from the Austrian Federal Ministry of Finance
With significant and on-going support from the Austrian Federal Ministry of Finance, the EBRD’s Regional Early Transition Countries Energy Efficiency Programme has been able to source a team of local and international experts to evaluate the benefits of sustainable energy projects, identify where such projects are most profitable and develop such opportunities among Armenian businesses. This investment origination process has convinced several financial institutions to join EBRD’s ArmSEFF and embark on sustainable energy financing to meet demand from their clients.
Austria’s continued support of sustainable energy in the region has also allowed the EBRD to begin replicating this model in neighbouring countries.
Success in the future
Now, not only will more businesses see a practical demonstration of how higher efficiency technologies and practices can produce financial and other benefits, but households will be included in the demonstration too.
This is good news for an increasing number of financial institutions in the Caucasus that will become more familiar with this extensive market potential and decide to make use of EBRD SEFF support in developing financial products that respond to clients’ needs for modernisation, competitiveness and wellbeing.