Triple-A in Brief
“Enhancing at an Early Stage the Investment Value Chain of Energy Efficiency Projects” (Triple-A) has a practical result-oriented approach, seeking to identify which investments can be considered as Triple-A investments, fostering sustainable growth, while also having an extremely strong capacity to meet their commitments, already from the first stages of investments generation and preselection/ pre-evaluation.
The focus lays in answering the following questions:
- How to assess the financing instruments and risks at an early stage?
- How to agree on the Triple-A investments, based on selected key performance indicators?
- How to assign the identified investment ideas with possible financing schemes?
In particular, the Triple-A scheme is introduced, for identifying “Triple-A” energy efficiency investments, aiming to reduce the respective time and effort required at the crucial phase of the investments conceptualization, as well as to increase transparency and efficiency of respective decision making. By introducing this new scheme, Triple-A seeks to make energy efficiency investments more transparent, predictable and attractive for investors / financiers and project developers.
The Triple-A scheme comprises three critical steps, with the following main outputs:
Step 1 - Assess: Based on Member States risk profiles and mitigation policies, including a Web-based Database on Energy Efficiency Financing, enabling national and sectoral comparability, market maturity identification, good practices experiences exchange, reducing thus uncertainty for investors. The Assess Tool developed in this step, acts as a Risk Assessment Tool, checking and also ensuring the EU Taxonomy compliance of energy efficiency investments. It leads to a pre-screening of investment ideas at EU level, in accordance with the country context and sectors specific characteristics, also taking into consideration the categorisation of financing instruments and risk mitigation strategies. A pipeline of more about 100 energy efficiency financially attractive projects has emerged through this step.
Step 2 - Agree: Based on Based on standardised Triple-A tools, efficient benchmarks , and guidelines, translated in consortium partners’ languages, accelerating and scaling up investments. In Step 2, key performance indicators (KPIs) have been selected to agree on the Triple-A investments per case-study country from the pipeline of the previous step. The benchmarking method is based on a multicriteria classification method, taking into account major Economic, Risk (as calculated in the Assess Tool) and energy specific Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) criteria. The particular approach, enables the agreement on the 50-80 Triple-A investments that being produced from this step.
Step 3 - Assign: Based on in-country demonstrations, replicability and overall exploitation, including recommendations on what energy efficiency investments are realistic and feasible in the national and sectoral context, as well as on how they could be financed in practice in the short or medium term. In-country demonstrations of the investments, through the standardised Triple-A Tools are taken place. The Agree Tool is a multidimensional platform consisting of numerous interfaces according to the different types of beneficiaries and energy efficiency financing instruments. The previous steps have already determined whether an examined project fiche is feasible and realistic, and what form it should take. This step is the match making step of the examined investments idea with the possible financing schemes. It is the last procedure that shapes the pathway to be followed by involved parties to achieve delivery (contracts, underwriting procedures, etc.). This step results to the elaboration of 50 project fiches.
Case Study Countries
The eight Triple - A case study countries were selected to promote diversity across a number of factors, including: a leading European economy (Germany), an innovation front-runner in energy (The Netherlands), a weak economy, went through one of the longest and most severe recessions (Greece), an economy with slow economic recovery (Italy), a diversified economy with a strategic geographical location having some of the largest European firms (Spain), a country that has experienced one of the fastest economic recoveries in Europe (Lithuania), a progressing country with a once sceptical stance towards low-carbon development (Czech Republic), and a country, recovering from a slow transition to a market economy, with growing regional strategic role and significant ambition towards EU processes (Republic of Bulgaria).
Set the ground for building investors and financiers confidence
By analysing this big amount of successfully completed ongoing projects (e.g. DEEP and SEAF) and feedback by the stakeholders through appropriate bottom-up consultation scheme (e.g. structured interviews), Triple-A identifies and elaborates appropriate financing instruments and risk mitigation strategies, as well as suggests the most suitable financing programs/models per case-study. A cross-country analysis is available through the Triple-A Web-based Database on Energy Efficiency Financing, supporting:
- The identification of risks towards energy efficiency projects implementation.
- The reduction of uncertainty for investors / financiers.
- The knowledge for energy efficiency financing options for the project developers.
- The replicability of innovative financial instruments from the policy makers.
This database enables comparability per Member State and identification of market maturity, leading to a fruitful policy analysis for scaling-up energy efficiency investments and reducing the uncertainty for investors / financiers. The Triple-A database supports the exchange of experiences regarding good practices among EU MS and facilitates the replicability of them.
Provide standardised Triple-A tools and benchmarks to effectively assess sustainable energy investments and integrate energy efficiency in investors and financiers’ overall investments strategy
Triple-A integrates / upgrades the existing methods and tools developing a coherent and transparent new scheme “Assess-Agree-Assign”, along with guidelines, template contracts and procedures. Standardised Tools identify Triple-A investments options in each case-study country to mitigate these risks and support the identification of sustainable investment pathways for each Triple-A investment, by considering all the difficulties regarding the characteristics of each project and the legislative and socioeconomic framework of the country.
Ensure proper provision of recommendations based on lessons learnt from the in-country demonstrations
Triple-A showcases, using also interactive maps and graphs, etc., Triple-A investments and robust financing programs/models in the targeted countries, acting as first-of-a-kind demonstration for the banks, institutional investors and asset managers. The experience gathered in this in-country demonstration facilitates and accelerates the replicability and scaling of the Standardised Triple-A Tools and benchmarks. The findings are being used to address the Triple-A objectives, leading to concrete recommendations.
Several stakeholder groups that participate in the entire energy efficiency investments value chain are the ones that provide the required knowledge to achieve the objectives of Triple-A are presented, with their interactions.
Financing bodies and the companies / project developers are the major recipient of all actions and key Triple – A beneficiaries. Additional target groups that enables the development, implementation, testing and exploitation of the proposed Triple-A innovative scheme for energy efficiency financing are policy makers and policy support institutes, researchers and academics in business and techno – economic fields, and other groups.
Work StructureStakeholders Facilitative Dialogue and Capacity Building
Stakeholders’ dialogue plays the most vital role in the project. The establishment of the Triple-A Stakeholder Groups is considered crucial. Several structured interviews takes place involving regional Triple-A stakeholders in the design of the knowledge database. Regional Training Workshops in the participating countries are organized validating also the key outcomes.Energy Efficiency Financing Risks and Mitigation Strategies
A typology of risk and uncertainty factors that are relevant to energy efficiency investments and financing instruments across all different sectors are developed on the grounds of desk and market research, complemented with feedback from stakeholders through various ways. An overview on the available financial programs/models, financing instruments and different risk sharing mechanisms, as well as best cases scenarios for different types of risks and energy efficiency projects are presented. The results are being available through the interactive and Web-based Database on Energy Efficiency Financing. (incl. interactive maps and graphs, etc.).Tools and Benchmarks for Mainstreaming Energy Efficiency Investments
The Standardised Triple-A Tools are developed to support and facilitate the private sector finance for energy efficiency projects. The overall architecture, technical design and implementation of the Standardised Triple-A tools and benchmarks will be elaborated. The interoperability of the Triple-A Web based knowledge platform with several European Platforms for strategic investments is also foreseen, while benchmarks of energy efficiency investment capture the likelihood of such investments to attain expected performance targets.In-country Demonstration of Triple-A Investments
Identification of Triple-A energy efficiency projects and robust financing programs/models answering the needs and priorities of financing market actors through the Standardised Triple-A tools and benchmarks. Project fiches are elaborated that outline the purpose of each identified investment project, the way it will be structured and how it will be successfully implemented.Synthesis and Sustainability
Triple-A Recommendations summarise the key findings gained within this project, supporting the formulation of policy frameworks and market architecture. An overall Exploitation and Sustainability strategy for the tools and methodologies developed in the project is delivered.Communication and Dissemination
Several dissemination and communication activities will take place, so as to engage all relevant target groups, from the production of online material, website, publication and posts in social media to the organisation of the Final European Roadshow Event on Energy Efficiency Financing. The communication and dissemination approach is designed to allow for a continuous exchange of information and to create the conditions for cooperation opportunities among key stakeholders.
Who We Are
EPU-NTUA (Project Coordinator) is a multidisciplinary scientific unit which operates within the School of Electrical and Computer Engineering. EPU-NTUA carries out research in the area of management and decision support for energy efficiency, promotion of energy technologies, energy regulation, policies/strategies and planning at national and community level, environmental planning at regional and national level, renewable energy sources technologies, climate change and sustainable development and energy conservation. EPU-NTUA has important working experience with financing institutions, previous experience in the implementation of relevant projects, as well as a team with significant related expertise and several publications in the field, coupled also through an in-depth experience in the development of a wide range of ICT-systems, e-platforms etc.Web: https://www.epu.ntua.gr
ABN AMRO serves Retail, Private and Corporate Banking clients with a focus on the Netherlands (third-largest bank in the Netherlands) and selective operations internationally. Clients are offered a comprehensive and full range of products and services through omni-channel distribution, including advanced mobile applications and internet banking. ABN AMRO offers in-depth financial expertise and extensive knowledge of numerous industry sectors. Internationally, the Group’s operations are based on specific expertise and established market positions.
IEECP is a non-profit international research institute that brings together top experts in energy efficiency and climate policy issues from various EU research organisations. The core team is comprised of specialists working in advisory roles for energy and carbon policy and market since its inception, and their evaluation, and on stakeholder consultation management practices for energy and climate policy. The research members have a demonstrable list of scientific publications (over 60) in scientific journals in the field of energy and climate policy.Web: http://www.ieecp.org
JRC, as an asset management institute, is dealing with the various types of investment and financing instruments and proficient with all aspects of risk assessment and management. As part of their business, they are experienced with creating / structuring financial products like bonds or funds for institutional as well as retail investors. With a long history of EU projects JRC has a strong network with both, organisations of the financial community, as well as international business and research institutions. JRC has a rich history and can be considered a senior player in the investing industry in Germany among SME financial services institutesWeb: https://jrconline.com/?lang=en
GFT (Italy) serves as a strategic information technology partner, which helps companies to optimize their business processes with intelligent and innovative IT solutions and highly skilled specialists, and to transform cutting-edge technological developments into future-proof business models. A major focus area is the maintenance and further development of business-critical core processes as well as the development of innovative solutions for the finance sector based on cutting-edge technological advances in the fields of Big Data, Mobility, Social Media and Cloud Computing.Web: https://www.gft.com/int/en/
CREARA energy efficiency & energy saving experts offers consulting, management and outreach programme services in the fields of energy efficiency, energy saving and renewable energies. CREARA (Spain) offers specialized engineering and consulting services and on the basis of its profound technical knowledge and experience, CREARA has become a leading expert its field. CREARA offers customized solutions for the implementation, development and starting up of policies that will optimize energy consumption and contributes to the sustainable and environmentally responsible development of its clients, which include companies, organizations and public administrations.Web: https://www.creara.es/?lang=en
adelphi is a non-profit and independent think tank and public policy consultancy. It analyses national and international environmental, energy and climate policies and carries out research projects on environmental, development and social issues. adelphi is a consulting company and think tank in Germany, with workstreams and several relevant projects in the areas ‘Sustainable Energy Finance’ and ‘Green Finance’. In these workstreams, adelphi consults both private and public sector financial institutions globally, including in Europe. adelphi’s mission is to improve global governance through research, dialogue and consultation. It offers demand-driven, tailor-made services for sustainable development, helping governments, international organizations, businesses and non-profits design strategies for addressing global challenges. Moreover, adelphi, as lead of the Expert Support Facility to the European Investment Bank’s PF4EE instrument, regularly organizes energy efficiency financing trainings and other capacity building workshops for PF4EE partner FIs, and thus is in a good position to exploit the potential PF4EE / Triple-A overlap in terms of trainings and other capacity building measures. Since 2001 adelphi has successfully completed over 800 projects worldwide on key areas such as Climate, Energy, Resources, Green Economy, Sustainable Business.Web: https://www.adelphi.de/en
PB leads a group of companies covering all financial activities in the Greek market (universal bank, the leading bank in the country in terms of assets). PB possesses particular know-how in the areas of medium-sized and small enterprises, in agricultural banking, in consumer and mortgage credit and green banking, capital markets and investment banking, as well as leasing and factoring. PB has a leading role in the national market regarding green investments, while being the biggest commercial lender in Greece and thus able to create, expand and shape the market. PB has built significant expertise and market share in the field of green banking with dedicated products, addressing both business and individual needs.Web: https://www.piraeusbank.gr/en/
UPRC is a business school in Greece currently running Departments covering among others the fields of Economics, Business Administration, Industrial Management, Financial Management and Banking. UPRC has been contributing to international research by participating in an increasingly more diverse range of EC funded research and innovation projects on techno-economic analysis & evaluation of energy systems, energy market modelling & design of new innovative market mechanisms, energy projects financing schemes, valuation of energy services and design of new business models, energy system planning etc..Web: https://teeslab.unipi.gr
Country: Czech Republic
SEVEn, is a not-for-profit consultancy company that has as mission to protect the environment and support economic development by encouraging more efficient use of energy. In the area of energy efficiency financing, SEVEn provides services to the actual project organisers, financial institutions and the grant administrators. For specific projects, SEVEn primarily focus on optimising them in the context of obtaining financial resources. For financial institutions, SEVEn usually provides services focused on appraising individual projects, from the standpoint of their technical design and the likelihood of achieving the planned economic results. SEVEn delivered, in the last few years, tailor-made assessments on energy investments to the biggest Czech banks, such as Komerční banka (translated as Commercial Bank, part of Société Générale); Česká spořitelna (translated as Czech Savings Bank, part of Austrian Erste Bank) or Českomoravská obchodní banka (translated as Czech and Moravian Commercial Bank, part of KBC). Furthermore, it is one of the key roles of APES (Association of Energy Services providers) to arrange and facilitate dialogue between investors and provider or banks and ESCOs.Web: http://www.svn.cz/en
VIPA (Lithuania) is a private limited liability company, governed by the government. VIPA acts as a national promotional institution with a focus on infrastructure financing. Main fields of VIPA activities are energy efficiency, environment, financial and budgetary provisions, financial services, regional policy and coordination of structural instruments. VIPA is involved in the programming period of 2014-2020: acts as a manager of financial instruments, implements other measures such as repayable assistance. VIPA is an active player in private investments attraction, as well as ESCO market development. VIPA also acts as a national promotional institution with a focus on infrastructure financing and is an active player in private investments attraction.Web: https://www.vipa.lt/
NTEF (Bulgaria) is a not-for-profit public organization that manages assets from the state budget, including under the Debt-for-Environment and the Debt-for-Nature swaps. NTEF plays the role of implementing agency of the National Green Investment Scheme, operating with the proceeds from the sales of AAU and from EU-ETS for energy efficiency projects, and also implementing investment programs - Mineral Waters and Electric vehicles. Since 2015, NTEF has been further conducting public awareness and educational activities on climate change. For the purpose of a more efficient use of public resources, NTEF has launched a pilot scheme for financing public energy efficiency projects, combining subsidy with guaranteed energy saving contracts (ESCO contracts) and also financing two pilot energy efficiency projects through the introduction of minimum standards, and adapting the protocols of the Investment Confidence Project (ICP). NTEF has working relationships with at least the three biggest commercial banks in Bulgaria, who are directly providing financing for the EE sector. These are Raiffeisen Bank, Societe Generale Bank and Unicredit Bulbank.Web: https://ecofund-bg.org/en/