“Regions4GreenGrowth” helps regions to invest in green energy schemes

A ground-breaking knowledge-exchange programme has helped to boost investment in sustainable energy projects in thirteen regions of ten European countries, by improving access to finance and helping regions to roll out green energy policies.

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Wind turbines in Flevoland © Juul Baars. Wind turbines in Flevoland © Juul Baars.

" For a politician it is quite valuable to get recommendations from an international team of experts. Our peer reviews have proved to be an effective way to gain knowledge on how to boost investments in sustainable energy. It is impressive that some of our partners have already started to put the peer review advice into practice by, for example, creating new financial instruments. "

Jan Nico Appelman, Deputy King's Commissioner, Province of Flevoland & Chairman of the Regions4GreenGrowth Monitoring Board.

At a time when public funds in most European regions are decreasing, one of the main aims of the Regions4GreenGrowth (R4GG) project is to find new ways to finance green energy projects, such as renewable energy generation and energy efficiency measures, thereby helping the EU to achieve its ambitious energy targets.

Potential investors in green energy infrastructure projects often find it hard to raise finance as banks are often reluctant to invest in the sector. Meanwhile, state funding for green energy is often limited and lacks continuity. For those reasons, a particular focus of the R4GG project is to boost private-public financing schemes.

Through the programme, regions have received advice on, for example, the creation of regional energy funds, energy service companies and green public procurement to stimulate innovation and the local market.

Peer reviews

The R4GG project involves project partners visiting other regions to analyse the specific challenges facing those regions. These visits, and the organisation of related workshops, give regions the opportunity to share their experience and knowledge and allow for the creation of tailor-made solutions so that regions are helped to achieve their sustainable energy targets.

An example of such a peer review, was a five-day visit to the Valencia region of Spain when experts from the Netherlands, Hungary, Sweden and the Assembly of European Regions provided advice on the creation of clusters, the use of loans rather than grants to establish an investment community and a green investment fund and how to improve communication. Energy efficiency measures in the public sector are now being successfully implemented.

R4GG’s peer review methodology has been surprisingly effective as the international team of experts possesses a great deal of knowledge and experience. Practice has shown that all host regions discover as a result of the process that they have blind spots or problem areas that other regions have already found a solution to.

Total investment and EU funding

The “Regions4GreenGrowth (R4GG)” project has a total budget EUR 2 090 577, of which the EU’s European Regional Development Fund contributed EUR 1 621 841 through the INTERREG IVC-Inter-regional Cooperation (ETC) Programme for the 2007 to 2013 programming period.

Draft date

29/09/2014

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