Over the past few weeks we have been conducting a series of interviews with some of the pivotal figures from within the ESCO industry – speaking at ESCO Europe 2014 – asking them their views on current and future developments unfurling within the sector.
Q. How influential have government policies been in getting the industry going and in the development and creation of ESCOs?
A. ESCOs need a long-term predictable legislative context and market environment. Hence, today’s popular, but short-sighted political initiatives in certain countries to reduce energy costs via artificially reducing energy prices can be detrimental to ESCOs. Although they might increase political popularity in certain electoral groups on the short term, but by increasing uncertainties, these can inhibit the realisation of ESCO projects.
Q. The general consensus at present is that funding is available but getting access to finance is the difficult part. What would you say are the key enabling factors to gaining access to finance?
A. Access to finance should start with appropriate project development. Municipalities often do not possess the relevant resources and competencies to conduct the necessary feasibility studies and other preparatory steps to write out appropriate public procurement tender notices. Here project development assistance provided by the IEE programme (at European level) has been important via the ELENA facility or for smaller projects via the MLEI facility. Transparency in consumption and predictability in the regulatory framework are also pre-conditions to enable successful ESCO projects.
You can hear more from these speakers on 22-23 January in Barcelona during the 10th annual ESCO Europe conference and get inspired insights. Simply reply to this email if you want me to hold a seat for you or register directly and save €600 off the full registration fee.
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I look forward to meeting you in Barcelona!