ELENA – European Local ENergy Assistance

Supporting investments in energy efficiency and sustainable transport

ELENA is a joint initiative by the EIB and the European Commission under the Horizon 2020 programme. ELENA provides grants for technical assistance focused on the implementation of energy efficiency, distributed renewable energy and urban transport projects and programmes.

The grant can be used to finance costs related to feasibility and market studies, programme structuring, business plans, energy audits and financial structuring, as well as to the preparation of tendering procedures, contractual arrangements and project implementation units.

The ELENA facility is led by a team of experts consisting of engineers and economists with extensive experience in the transport and energy sector. Established in 2009, the ELENA facility has awarded around EUR 100 million of EU support triggering an estimated investment of around EUR 4 billion on the ground.


What kind of projects does ELENA support?

Typically, ELENA supports programmes above EUR 30 million with a 3-year implementation period for energy efficiency and 4-year for urban transport and mobility, and can cover up to 90% of technical assistance/project development costs. Smaller projects can be supported when they are integrated into larger investment programmes.

The annual grant budget is currently around EUR 20 million. Projects are evaluated and grants allocated on a first-come-first-served basis. ELENA may co-finance investment programmes in the following fields:

Energy efficiency and distributed renewable energy

  • public and private buildings (including social housing), commercial and logistic properties and sites, and street and traffic lighting to support increased energy efficiency;
  • integration of renewable energy sources (RES) into the built environment – e.g. solar photovoltaic (PV) on roof tops, solar thermal collectors and biomass;
  • investments into renovating, extending or building new district heating/cooling networks, including networks based on combined heat and power (CHP), decentralised CHP systems;
  • local infrastructure including smart grids, information and communication technology;
  • infrastructure for energy efficiency, energy-efficient urban equipment and link with transport;

Urban transport and mobility

  • investments to support the use and integration of innovative solutions for alternative fuels in urban mobility;
  • investments to introduce on a large-scale new, more energy-efficient transport and mobility measures in urban areas including passenger transport, freight transport, etc.;

Energy Cities created a study focused on how ELENA can help unlock investment in cities. The study found that ELENA can be beneficial to trigger investment for climate action in cities by providing the necessary push for cities and local authorities to change the way they plan their investments, and develop projects to achieve their climate objectives.

Ongoing project in Romania

District 6 Energy Efficiency for Public Buildings (D6EEPB)

Location & Beneficiary: District 6 of the Municipality of Bucharest

Total Project Development Services (PDS) cost: EUR 1,283,300

ELENA contribution: EUR 1,154,970

PDS Timeframe: February 2018 – January 2021

The Project Development Services (PDS) financed by ELENA will provide support to District 6 municipality in acceleration of the implementation of the energy efficiency (EE) investment programme for deep energy retrofit of 11 existing buildings, such as schools managed by the Municipality, and to provide support to a construction of 8 NZEB (nearly zero-energy buildings), designed for kindergartens and after-school programs, in existing school courtyards. The ELENA TA will contribute substantially to the implementation of the investment programme by bringing in missing resources and external expertise, since District 6 municipality has limited experience in energy efficiency projects for public buildings. The ELENA TA will strengthen the resources and capacities of the General Investment Department, within District 6 municipality, with external experts. ELENA TA will bring the know-how and manpower that will accelerate the investments, reaching a high level of energy efficiency improvements and renewable energy installations.


Expected results

  • RE generation – annual total renewable energy generation 218 MWhel and 476 MWhth
  • Energy efficiency – annual total savings in the final energy consumption of 5.3 GWh
  • CO2 reductions – annual total emission reductions of 1,370 t CO2 eq

There is a high market replication for this ELENA supported investment programme by other municipalities in Romania. District 6 municipality of Bucharest will share its experience and results via press releases, website and articles in professional media. The project is aiming at the extensive promotion of the obtained results through replication at the level of other institutions.

See the interactive map here: http://www.eib.org/en/products/advising/elena/map.htm

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