In 21 case studies, the EUKI project BEACON evaluated national climate policies in European countries. The Slovak Sustainable Energy Financing Facility (SlovSEFF) was one of the first credit lines by the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) to encourage energy efficiency and renewable energy projects with private industrial companies and housing associations. With the support of local banks and obligatory technical assistance it channels financing to sustainable energy projects reducing GHG emissions. SlovSEFF has supported more than 700 energy efficiency projects and sustainable energy investments that make energy lower emissions-intensive worth over EUR 200 million in total, resulting in combined annual energy savings equivalent to the total household electricity consumption of a city the size of Bratislava.
In addition to this financing component, SEFFs include a technical assistance component, implemented by external consultants, to both financial institutions and their clients. This includes, for instance, the training of bank staff in promoting the specific financial products and in recognising technically eligible projects as well as the provision of support to borrowers in identifying energy saving projects and in developing financing applications. A third component of EBRD’s SEFFs is incentive payments. These can be provided to kick-start markets or to compensate financial institutions for “the restricted use of proceeds, costs incurred in training staff and fulfilling monitoring requirements”
Sustainable energy projects financed under the third phase of the SlovSEFF scheme (starting in 2014) are expected to achieve annual GHG emission savings of 40,000 tonnes of CO2 equivalent (EBRD, 2015). The two previous phases, SlovSEFF I and II, are expected to induce emission reductions of 115,000 tonnes CO2 each year (EBRD, 2015). SlovSEFF III is complemented by funding that is sourced from the proceeds of a novel carbon credit transaction between the Slovak Republic and Spain. The third phase of SlovSEFF is also innovative in the way that it links the incentive payment amount to a project’s emission reduction potential.