EBRD supporting sustainable energy in Slovak Republic

By Axel  Reiserer

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The EBRD is deepening its support for sustainable energy investments in the Slovak Republic with a €20m loan to Slovenska Sporitelna, a.s. (SLSP), one of the country’s leading banks. The funds will be on-lent to private companies for renewable energy projects and energy efficiency in industry and buildings.

The loan is extended to SLSP under the third phase of the EBRD’s highly successful Sustainable Energy Finance Facility in Slovakia (SlovSEFF III). SlovSEFF III is anticipated to result in up to €40 million in financing by the EBRD and will be complemented by funding provided by Slovakia. These funds will be sourced from the proceeds of a carbon credit transaction between the Slovak Republic and Spain and provide incentives for energy efficiency investments. Donor funding of €2 million for technical assistance has been provided by Spain.

Jean-Marc Peterschmitt, EBRD Managing Director for Central and South Eastern Europe, said: “This is an innovative way of securing grant financing as, for the first time, donor funding for a credit line will be generated by a market-based instrument.”

Vazil Hudak, State Secretary of the Ministry of Finance of the Slovak Republic, added: “We highly appreciate this financial facility which can support economic growth in Slovakia through financing of energy efficiency projects. It builds on previous excellent experience under such initiative and is an important element in continued cooperation between Slovakia and EBRD.”

“We would like to thank the EBRD and Spain for the opportunity to sell the Kyoto carbon credits and to continue the highly respected SlovSEFF programme. The reduction of greenhouse gas emissions through energy efficiency and renewable energy projects will lead to additional mitigation of climate change”, Vojtech Ferencz, State Secretary of the Ministry of Environment of the Slovak Republic, stated.

Despite significant improvements in energy and greenhouse gas (GHG) intensity over the last decade, the potential to improve energy efficiency and further decarbonise the Slovak economy remains high. SlovSEFF III will seek to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and rewards the best performing projects in this respect by linking incentive payment with the GHG emission reduction potential of projects.

The facility will also serve to meet the high demand for energy efficiency among smaller companies and household consumers. The demand for such investments is illustrated by the strong success of the first two phases of SlovSEFF and the continuous interest from local banks to participate in the programme.

SlovSEFF, launched in 2007, is a credit line aimed at promoting sustainable energy investments in Slovakia’s private sector through local banks. To date, SlovSEFF has supported around 700 sustainable energy investments worth over €190 million, which combined annual savings equivalent to the household electricity consumption of a city the size of Bratislava. The two previous SlovSEFF phases are expected to reduce the amount of CO2 by 115,000 tonnes per year.

Since the beginning of its operations in the Slovak Republic the EBRD has invested over €2 billion in more than 125 projects in the country, mobilising over €4.5 billion of financing from other sources.


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