What's new at CITYnvest - July 2017

Dear readers,

Before leaving for the summer break, we want to share with you some updates on the CITYNvest project.
The last few months have been incredibly active, with national workshops in the Pilot region of Liège, follow-up events in CITYnvest focus countries (Lithuania, Latvia and Hungary), and the European Sustainable Energy Week (EUSEW) 2017.
In this number, we publish two interviews with local leaders and experts in energy efficiency in public buildings:
Ron Sint-Nicolaas Director of sustainable energy for the municipality of Deventer in The Netherlands
Daiva Matonienė, Member of Šiauliai City Municipal Council (Lithuania) and coordinator of the ENVE Commission at the European Committee of the Regions

We hope you will enjoy the reading,
The CITYnvest team 

1. Highlights

SAVE THE DATE- CITYnvest Final Conference

CITYnvest Final Conference will take place on 4-5 December 2017 in Brussels (BE). The objective of the conference is to hand over to policy makers the CITYnvest booklet with policy recommendations for the EU, national and local level to better support local access to finance for building renovation. The conference will also be an opportunity to share knowledge from CITYnvest pilot regions. You are invited to book this date in your calendar. The full programme will follow in the next newsletter. 


CITYnvest video on Cooperative Model

RESCoop, a CITYnvest partner, has published a video showing the feasibility and success of cooperative models as innovative financing models at local level for energy efficiency. Pajopower and Ecopower are concrete examples supporting Belgian communities and local governments for installing renewable sources of energy and realising energy efficiency improvement.
There are 500 million citizens in the EU. What if all of us were to join for a sustainable future ?


​CITYnvest Twitter Account

CITYnvest has a twitter account!
You can follow us to be updated on CITYnvest future events, project publications, interviews with experts and much more!



2. CITYnvest news

5 questions to the Director of sustainable energy for the municipality of Deventer in The Netherlands 

Ron Saint-Nicolaas is the director of sustainable energy for the municipality of Deventer in The Netherlands, which aims to be energy neutral by 2030. His role is to bring together private initiatives, to investigate smart solutions and work with other local and regional governments to overcome existing policy barriers. His highlight is finance. Full interview available here.




5 questions to municipal Councellor in Šiauliai, Lithuania & coordinator of the ENVE Commission at the European Committee of the Regions

 Daiva Matonienė, Member of Šiauliai City Municipal Council (Lithuania) is a European Conservatives and Reformists Group (ECR) member, she is coordinator of the ENVE Commission at the European Committee of the Regions and manages the work on the “Renewable energy and internal electricity market”. She is an expert on town twinning and a member of the Commission’s body in charge of providing candidates and potential candidates for EU membership, and the EU’s eastern and southern neighbours, with technical know-how and legislative expertise (Technical Assistance and Information Exchange instrument of the European Commission, TAIEX).
Full interview available here.


E​nergy Plan for Murcia Region (2016-2020) unveiled

The regional Ministry of Economic Development, Tourism and Employment unveiled the Energy Plan for Murcia Region 2016-20 during a high level event on 31 March 2017. News article available here. 


ELENA Fuensanta Project boosted 1.8 € million investments in energy efficiency public building renovation in Murcia Region

ELENA (European Local ENergy Assistance) is a joint EIB-European Commission initiative that helps local and regional authorities to prepare energy efficiency or renewable energy projects.
From the kick start of the project in 2014 to now, more than 33 M€ investments in renewable sources and energy efficiency have been carried out thanks to the assistance provided.
Since INFO Murcia is also partner of CITYnvest project, those two projects-ELENA Fuensanta and Citynvest have been running in parallel and synergies have been identified and implemented.
News article available here.



​RenoWatt project wins the Best European Energy Service Award

RenoWatt wins the "Best Energy Project 2017" award for  providing a targeted response to climate change issues and to the specific needs of participating public entities. It is the first time that a Belgian energy project wins an award from the European Commission. News article available here .



CITYnvest past events

Between April and June 2017 the following CITYnvest events took place:

10 May 2017, Riga (Latvia), CITYnvest follow-up session, Innovative financial mechanisms for the energy efficiency projects in Latvia

Local governments discussed the Latvian situation in refurbishment of public/private buildings with experts, taking stock from the conclusion of the previous CITYnvest workshop hold in March 2016. The Latvian market is progressing for the adoption of Energy Performance Contract -EPC- model, the gas market will be opened from July 2017; still there is need to more flexibility and support for Energy Service –ESCO- companies. This session is organized with the support of the Latvian Association of Local and Regional Governments-LALRG.
Workshop documents and minutes are available here


13 June 2017, Vilnius (Lithuania) CITYnvest follow-up session, Innovative financing models for energetic retrofits of the municipal building stock

The roundtable was an opportunity for local governments to debate the Lithuanian situation in refurbishment of public buildings, taking stock from the conclusion of the previous CITYnvest workshop. Initiatives from the government to support public investment in public building renovation is welcomed. Mobilising private investments remains a major challenge in public building renovation and therefore improving their energy performance. This session is organized with the support of Association of Local Authorities in Lithuania -ALAL.
News article available here


15 June 2017, Liege (Belgium), CITYnvest workshop in pilot region, Les Contrats de Performance Energétique dans le secteur hospitalier

The event organized by the Agency for the Economic Redeployment of Liège –GRE Liège- focuses on hospital renovation.Even though the financial model of EPC dedicated to hospital sector is fully pertinent and cost-effective, the EPC approach is not very common in this sector in Wallonia. Strong of its experience of launching 4 EPC for 10 municipalities and one EPC for a regional hospital for a total amount of 60 millions, GRE-Liège/RenoWatt has organized on June, 15th a workshop dedicated to energy retrofitting in the hospital sector. The positive experience of Hospital Center Régional De Huy- CHRH thanks to RenoWatt was presented by Mr. Denis Ruiz, Technical Director of CHRH hospital.

Following the deep interest showed during this workshop, a certifying IPMVP training will be organized in Liège in the end of 2017 in collaboration with GRE-Liège, EVO and AFNOR.

27 June 2017, Sopron (Hungary), CITYnvest follow-up session

This session is a follow-up of the CITYnvest National workshop hold in Budapest on 12 May 2016, organised by Climate Alliance. It takes place during the Climate Start Award, in the city of Sopron. The aim of the session was to raise awareness on the importance of energy efficiency renovations. The CITYnvest step-by-step guidance was presented and the project implementation in CITYnvest pilot region was explained in details. The CITYnvest presentation was followed by the intervention of the Hungarian Ministry of National Development / Department for Climate Policy on their technical and financial support scheme for LIFE projects.


20 June 2017, Brussels (Belgium), CITYnvest Advisory Group meeting 

On 20 June, the Climate Alliance Working Group on Financing met in Brussels to discuss the latest in EU policy on climate and energy financing, Climate Alliance’s work in the field, and how best to take advantage of funding opportunities. The Climate Alliance Working Group on Financing serves as the Advisory Committee for the CITYnvest project and will help develop key policy recommendations on EU policy related to financing for the local level.

Working Group members reiterated the importance of exchange on financing topics and agreed to work more intensively together on projects and initiatives. In depth discussion on EU policy influencing energy efficiency investment took place. An exchange surrounding the guidance coming out of the CITYnvest project on innovative financing for energy retrofits then rounded out the discussions of the day.
A total of 14 city representatives from across Europe took part. This was the first meeting under the leadership of new chairs Donald van den Akker of the Dutch Klimaatverbond and Ronald van Meygaarden of the City of Geldermalsen (NL).

CITYnvest upcoming events

Two additional events are scheduled in the Pilot Region of Murcia before Autumn:

  • 5-6 July 2017, CITYnvest training workshop Murcia, European Sustainable Energy Week regional event
  • September 2017, Madrid, CITYnvest national event organised by Murcia Region 
  • 20-22 September 2017, Essen (DE), CITYnvest at the 2017 Climate Alliance International Conference 
    In occasion of the Climate Alliance International Conference 2017, Transforming our municipalities: from goals to actions, CITYnvest will organise an in-situ session with the title Local financing for local energy actions (21/09/2017) and will be present at the financing stand for the whole duration of the conference where participants can get an explanation of the CITYnvest tools and solutions.
    More info and registration here

Their goal is to discuss how to launch the action plans in concrete terms, including how the dedicated team can support the local authorities in the energy efficiency planning of their buildings.
One more follow-up sessions is scheduled in Italy as CITYnvest focus country (webinar). To stay updated, check the CITYnvest Calendar and CITYnvest twitter.

External events with CITYnvest participation

CITYnvest partners have participated in a series of events representing CITYnvest:

22 June 2017, Prague (Czech Republic), Energy, Power, Utility, Oil & Gas Efficiency Summit

This event had the objective to learn about the latest developments in global market, learn and discover more about emerging hot topics and focus on the latest development and operation of a large scale global in the Industry, and meet peers from within your technical and professional community and Form new professional relationships. The RenoWatt experience was presented as a dedicated company project that will be created for all the public entities of Wallonia. Supported by CITYnvest, the goal is to launch EPC for more than 100 million euros in the 36 coming month and the outcomes of RenoWatt.


26 June 2017, Covenant of Mayors- Webinar on the ‘new’ previous European Energy Efficiency Fund and other Technical Assistance webinar

The Webinar Objectives:
- Share the lessons learnt from the previous European Energy Efficiency Fund Technical Assistance (EEEF TA)and present the new edition of the facility launched in March 2017
- Compare the EEEF TA with other existing facilities and provide advice to future beneficiaries who consider applying for one of the TAs and launching their own investment programmes.
Erika Honnay- from GRE Liege and CITYnvest partner- as speaker.

19-23 June 2017, Brussels (Belgium), CITYnvest at the EUSEW 2017 

20 June 2017,Innovative Solutions of the Public Sector for the Financing of Buildings Energy Renovation’

Énergies POSIT’IF Final Conference, organised by ARENE Île-de-France in partnership with Énergies POSIT’IF and FEDARENE. Erika Honnay- from GRE-Liège and CITYnvest partner- as speaker, presenting the establishment of the One stop shop agency (RenoWatt) and the lessons learned from supporting municipalities in tendering procedure for renovation of buildings in the province of Liège. 



21 June 2017, Accelerating the clean energy transition: financing energy efficiency at the local level

During this session , four policy recommendations were presented by local actors (Utrecht, Gent, Parma or Stuttgart and REScoop) and discussed with the panel, composed by representatives from European Commission (DG ENER and DG REGIO), European Investment Bank, high-level expert group on sustainable finance, and two representatives from local governments (from Paris Region, Energies POSIT’IF and from Liege Region, the RenoWatt project).
The four recommendations were welcomed by the panel:
Recommendation n. 1 to develop financial instruments that are not thematically oriented was welcomed, supported by Directorate-General for Energy at the European Commission (DG ENER) and the example provided from the UK , even if the creation of non-thematic platform was seen as not an easy option by DG ENER.
Recommendation n. 2 to involve cities for getting resources to invest in one-stop-shops and to  finance via ESIF integrated projects, not only energy efficiency investments (e.g. structural works along energy retrofits) was welcomed by DG REGIO, presenting several initiatives of the Cohesion policy striving for an integrated approach and partnership with cities. The establishment of a One stop shop at local level was presented by the experience of the Energies POSIT’IF project in Paris region, Ile de France.
Recommendation n. 3 to establish small scale Technical Assistance facility with more balanced risk sharing was commented by the EIB, saying that there are already programmes like the Advisory Hub that can provide technical assistance for small case projects. RenoWatt project presented the establishment of a one stop shop centre in Liege Region and the new application of ELENA funds for the creation of RenoWatt +", a Walloon agency dedicated to energy retrofitting.
Recommendation n.4 to amend the Energy Union framework and legislation to allow energy cooperatives to thrive thorough collaborations with local governments on renewable energy and energy efficiency, was commented by DG ENER, saying that there is more and more room for an integrated approach between energy efficiency and objectives on renewable.
Speakers: Maud Skäringer, European Commission, DG REGIO; Diana Barglazan, European Commission, DG Energy; Isidoro Tapia, EIB; Sam Maule, high-Level Expert Group on sustainable finance; Jehanne Jancloes, GRE Liege (BE), local authority; Raphaël Claustre, Director Energies POSIT’IF.

22 June 2017, Localising the Energy Union

The breakfast was organised by CEMR, a CITYnvest partner with other European networks, including Climate Alliance, CITYnvest coordinator, at the European Parliament, where Ronald van Meygaarden chair of the CITYnvest Advisory Group presented the policy recommendations based on the CITYnvest experience.
The event was hosted by MEPs Claude Turmes and Theresa Griffin, Rapporteur and Shadow rapporteur on the Governance dossier of the Clean Energy for All Europeans Package.
 Local and regional leaders representing five major networks of local governments met with Members of the European Parliament to drive home the importance of local level involvement in EU energy and climate policy. Known as the Urban 5, these networks point to the local level’s power to provide jobs, its proximity to the people and its swift ability to deliver change as essential components for energy transition success.

Prior to the policy debate in the European Parliament, the Urban 5, comprised of Climate Alliance, the Council of European Municipalities and Regions (CEMR), Energy Cities, EUROCITIES, and ICLEI – Local Governments for Sustainability – outlined their position in a joint policy statement.
The paper targets EU policy makers as they negotiate the Clean Energy Package and EU budget and calls for a governance framework that empowers local governments to contribute to the energy transition. One important pillar of such a framework would be better access to finance for cities, towns, and regions to foster investments in local renewable energy. The right to self-produce and consume electricity is also cited as a way to encourage broad participation in the energy transition.
European local governments further call for a planning and reporting system that addresses barriers to delivering the Energy Union at the local level as well as for ambitious 2030 and 2050 energy and climate targets. This would put Europe on a path to meet its international commitments whilst improving the quality of life of its people.
MEP Theresa Griffin echoed the importance of the local level and the Urban 5’s calls, stating, “Citizens, cities, local governments and regions are the backbone of the energy transition. The Energy Union should provide an adequate framework to promote their full participation as this will enable us to respond to key challenges including the question of energy poverty.” 
The political leaders present reiterated that delivery of the objectives of the Energy Union and the Paris Agreement will require engagement of the people in the transition process, shifting them from energy consumers to energy producers.
"Multilevel governance is the future of clean energy deployment in Europe. Regions and cities will play a crucial role to capture the multiple benefits of the energy transition: price lowering, citizen empowerment, local production, new jobs, cleaner air," agreed MEP Claude Turmes.
At the end of the successful event, MEP Claude Turmes invited the local and regional leaders of the Urban 5 to regular exchange meetings on crucial issues related to EU energy and climate policies. The next meeting is envisaged to take place by end of September 2017.

External news

20 June 2017, Committee of the Region, Brussels (Belgium), Energy Day conference on Local and Regional perspectives of the Winter Package

Within the EU Sustainable Energy Week framework, the Committee of the Region (CoR) Energy Day conference aimed to disseminate the CoR's work on the latest policy issues related to the European Commission's proposals on energy policy adopted on 30th November 2016 as the "Winter Package" for the Energy Union.
The CoR rapporteurs wished to share their ideas and present their draft opinions with a broad range of representatives from relevant organizations and stakeholders, such as the CEMR and ICLEI.
Mr Thor-Sten Vertmann, Counsellor for Energy, Head of Section of the Permanent Representation of the Republic of Estonia gave a keynote statement on the priorities of Estonian Presidency on the clean energy package. The presidency will focus to deliver the Electricity Market proposal as a driver for renewables and energy efficiency and on the Energy Union Governance proposal.
The three rapporteurs, Mr Bruno Hranić on the Energy Union Governance and clean energy; Mr Michiel Rijsberman, on Energy efficiency and buildings and Ms Daiva Matonienė on Renewable energy and electricity market presented their drafted opinion, to be formally adopted by the CoR at its plenary session in July 2017. Mr Bruno Hranić called on the Member States and the European Commission to ensure appropriate support for cooperation between sub-national authorities. Mr Michiel Rijsberman noticed that subnational initiative can be even more ambitious than national level on Energy efficiency and buildings performance, e.g. going beyond the 30% Energy efficiency targets by 2030 of the EU Commission proposal. Ms Daiva Matonienė underlined the importance of financial engineering by using public funds to attract private sources, quoting JESSICA as an example of public funds successfully implemented in Lithuania for private building renovation. She also mentioned for renewables the importance of transmission of grids, as well as integrated market and regional cooperation.
A relevant local example was provided by Furio Honsell, Mayor of Udine (Italy) who commented the opinion on energy efficiency, recommending  the adoption of an EU methodology to measure EE and the consultation of sub-national level on energy initiatives, like educational programme as their responsibility lie at local level. He questioned the provision of increasing infrastructure for of electric charge for vehicles, as alternative mobility should be foreseen instead of cars.
ICLEI showed how local and regional governments lead the way in energy transition, via initiatives such as the Covenant of Mayors, now also at global level. ICLEI recommended continuous dialogue with civil society on energy policies,  on the long-term costs and benefits of the energy transition, and on their fair distribution. Also, the social consequences of the energy transition must be adequately addressed by strategies to help mitigate adverse effects on jobs and on socially weak households.
Climate Alliance recommended Cohesion policy funds for local governments to achieve capacity building on large scale for a local renewables energy project and the need for a tailor made approach on energy issues (energy poverty and unemployment in East countries like Bulgaria and Romania).
The Chair, Ms Sirpa Hertell, Deputy Chair of the Commission for Environment, Energy and Climate Change (ENVE) concluded that actions at local level can be even more ambitious than at national level and that it is of primary importance to reduce EU dependence on an external energy supply and to moderate private energy competition.