Pilot Action 2
The goal of the Pilot Action 2 was to assess the public investments to support Industry low carbon transition through analysis of projects/investment plans elaborated by SMEs on energy efficiency and renewable energy sources to verify their quality and quantity contribute to achieve the Energy Plans' targets.
Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) are an important part of the overall energy consumption balance in Europe. Despite relatively low energy savings per company, the SME sector represents a significant cost-effective savings potential.
In order to evaluate EE/ RES investment plans, a user-friendly IT tool was developed in the project, which performance was checked by the partners involved in PA2. The IT Tool (O.T1.4) together with the methodology for PA2 addressed to industry (D.T2.3.2) was used to measure the effectiveness of the financial instruments.
Pilot Action was implemented in five regions: Italy, Austria, Germany, Poland, Czech Republic. 32 energy efficiency projects funded from Operational Programmes were analysed in detail, based on data provided from project partners carried out pilot actions using the Project level tool.
The Project level tool main focus was to evaluate economic parameters of a particular project, as well as its environmental benefits in terms of decreased carbon emissions. The Tool gives also the possibility to compare a funding mix of loan, subsidy, and own to an equivalent mix of own resource/subsidy funding with the precise share of subsidy needed to find the same conditions as the loan with preferential interest. It offers the SME’s the opportunity to simulate various financing options and to evaluate the long-term nature of their investment by issuing cumulative cash flows.
The results of pilot actions carried out in five partner countries were collected and summarized in order to evaluate the possibilities of further use of IT Tool and the assessment procedure and to ensure their transferring and dissemination.
The Pilot action showed that all analysed projects have the ability to generate energy and GHG savings, and so to contribute to the goals of national/region energy plans. However, to make the projects also economically viable, a certain level of a subsidy component seems to be necessary to be involved into the financing schemes. Although the total number of 32 SME’s tested is not a big pattern, but we were able to observe the similarities and differences among partner countries and thus to see strengths and weaknesses of the Tool used and the methodology applied.
In case of pilot Action 2, the transferable outputs include the IT Tool (O.T1.4) and the methodology for PA2 addressed to industry (D.T2.3.2), which may be also the subject to further analysis and adaptation to local conditions. As demonstrated by the pilot actions carried out in the selected countries, adaptation to local conditions is crucial to the successful implementation of the assessment procedure at regional level. It also requires the involvement of regional stakeholders and sectoral agencies which have an overview of the regional energy market.
The Pilot Action 2 showed that the use of the IT tool to assess public investments for industry’s low carbon transition proved to be very useful in the evaluation of SME’s projects clearly linking investments done to energy saving effects. The wider use of the tool provides an opportunity to make targeted decisions on key areas of support for SMEs related to energy efficiency improvements.
Well-used Project level Tool gives a lot of support in the decision-making process by managing authorities, both at the regional and national level. The analysis of energy efficiency projects is a complex task that requires the consideration of many factors. The tool offers a great opportunity to locate the strengths and weaknesses of the implemented activities. By making full-scale use of the Tool, it is possible to easily and quickly assess the project submitted for assessment and place it in the broader context of similar projects on a larger scale.