The European Commission has provided fresh funding to continue the work of the European Local Energy Assistance (ELENA) facility, implemented by the European Investment Bank (EIB). Under the new agreement, the initiative will support projects across its sustainable energy (€30 million) and sustainable transport (€5 million) portfolios. ELENA’s third project portfolio – sustainable residential –aims to invigorate large-scale refurbishment of the vast housing stock. It has a dedicated €97 million budget for technical assistance to make energy efficiency more attractive to private investors.
This will further stimulate investments in energy efficiency, especially in buildings, heat networks, street lighting and clean urban transport. The EIB will ensure the selection of high-quality projects and will lend its expertise to assist with their successful implementation.
Reducing energy consumption is a central objective of the European Green Deal, which aims to cut the EU’s energy needs by 32.5% by 2030. The State of the Union 2020 indicated a drive to increase this ambition, for instance via policy initiatives such as the Renovation Wave. Around 40% of all energy across the EU is used in the building sector. The goal of the Renovation Wave is to double annual energy renovation rates in the next ten years.
Across its three portfolios, ELENA has established itself as the go-to support facility for both public and private sector energy efficiency projects. Its hundreds of beneficiaries include central, regional and local government authorities, energy agencies and one-stop shops, banks and other financial intermediaries, and private entities.
The European Local Energy Assistance (ELENA) facility was launched in 2009 and has supported some 120 projects ever since. It has disbursed more than €200 million in grants and enabled over €7 billion of investment