First CITYnvest Focus Country workshop in Latvia kicks off the capacity-building programme

On the 23rd  of February 2016,  representatives of local authorities, financial institutions, ESCOs and policy makers from local and regional level gathered in Riga to explore the innovative financing instruments for energy retrofits. The event was co-organised by CITYnvest and the Latvian Association of Local and Regional Governments (LALRG).

The panellists reminded that energy efficiency renovations in Latvia are realized mainly thanks to the European grants. However, Ton Overmeire from the Energy Fund den Haag stressed that there is a growing need for financial instruments, as the European Commission wants its money to be spent in more efficient way and will limit the availability of grants in the future financial perspective.

The experts stressed that the main interest in Latvia lays in retrofitting multi-apartments buildings. Those projects are usually difficult to launch, as they require agreement of the majority of the apartments owners. Yet, the Development Financial Institution ALTUM aims to support retrofits in multi-dwelling properties.  CITYnvest expert, Jean-François Marchand suggested that the Latvian stakeholders could also get inspired by the French model - Energies POSIT’IF, which focuses on multifamily apartment buildings. Claudio Rochas provided another example of a solution, which has already been applied in the Latvian context (the Sunshine project).

As a second big challenge, Andra Feldmane pointed out the fact that small projects are not eligible to benefit from the European Investment Bank or the Junker’s Plan funds thus bundling of investments is necessary. Therefore, she invited Latvian municipalities interested in developing a common platform for energy efficiency to get in touch with LALRG, as the association could play a role of a facilitator of such a project.

All presentations and pictures from the event are available on the page of the event. Films screened during the workshop can be watched on our Videos page. A more detailed event report will be published  soon.