What is the specific problem?
Large scale investments for the energy transition in urban areas require tremendous amounts of funding. As of this moment, there is no dedicated work programme in EU funding schemes that funds large-scale investments for the energy transition in urban areas. Currently, the initiatives that cities can fund and implement using EU funds are those which are pilot/demonstration projects that test (new) technological/organisational applications. Many projects also cope with the State Aid Regulation, which limits the extent of widespread implementation of energy transition measures (e.g. indirect State Aid in relation to investments for house owners).
What action is needed?
By 2021, there will be a dedicated funding stream for large-scale energy transition investments in urban areas. This funding stream will be part of a work programme in one of the upcoming European funding instruments, such as Horizon Europe or LIFE (Climate Action). This funding stream will also take into account more flexible exemption rules regarding (indirect) State Aid. This is because the energy transition also consists of services that are of general interest. The paper will function as an opening for negotiations with the EIB to determine the extent to which it is possible to provide more flexible energy transition finance constructions. Additionally, it will even explore the multiple usages of EIB funding such as ELENA.
How to implement the action?
Short term: By Q3 2019, a fully-fledged position paper will have been brought to the attention of relevant stakeholders (DG RTD, DG COMP, DG ENV, DG REGIO, EIB, etc.) that determines the work programme formulation for EU funding programmes and EIB finance constructions. This paper is to be formulated with input from existing organisations/working groups active across the EU. Effective use of for a, such as the EUROCITIES Environment Forum Working Groups and Energy Cities, will be necessary. Through cities fora, requests will be made to provide inputs regarding:
The energy transition investments that they are planning for the upcoming years;The level of financial investments required;Experiences with EU funding to finance elements of such investments (pro's / cons).
Medium term: By the end of 2020, there will be a (concept) work programme that includes dedicated energy transition funding for urban areas. This funding stream will also have more flexible exemption rules regarding (indirect) State Aid. This funding stream will also take into account new insights and evaluation results of State Aid rules.
Long term: By 2022, the first cities will have opted for funding from the dedicated funding stream via calls for proposals. The first urban energy transition projects are to be funded and they will be subject to audits in accordance with new (indirect) State Aid exemption rules.
 Quality Framework for Services of General Interest, 2011
- Introduction to the Draft Action Plan of the Partnership on Energy Transition
- Draft Action 1
- Draft Action 2
- Draft Action 3
- Draft Action 4
- Energy Transition full Draft Action Plan
- About the Public Feedback