European City Facility supports cities with climate action plans

08/06/2022

Many local authorities are currently preparing and developing their climate and energy action plans. They are eligible to apply for grants from the European City Facility (EUCF), which enables local municipalities to further investigate ‘investment concepts’ and develop them into mature business and funding plans.

Municipal climate and energy plans

Local authorities play a key role in the European energy transition, often being the driving forces behind large-scale investment programmes for sustainable energy, the smart integration of smaller-scale projects, and securing the funding required. Many municipalities in the EU have already set out their energy and climate targets and objectives in formal plans, such as sustainable energy action plans (SEAPs), sustainable energy and climate action plans (SECAPs), or similar documents.

Two major barriers for municipalities

Experience has shown that many municipalities run into two barriers along the way. The first of these is securing funding. The second challenge is even trickier: finding appropriate investment concepts (ideas and/or plans for investment projects). It turns out that many investment concepts are too vague, too uncertain, and – above all – too premature. Even concepts backed up by a clear-cut project plan and a strong rationale still tend to raise numerous questions. For example: how do the plans rank in terms of feasibility, impact, risks, and efficiency? A proper assessment would require a closer investigation, and as long as these questions are not explored, securing funding is virtually impossible.

EUCF provides a solution

Fortunately, the European City Facility supports municipalities that find themselves in this ‘Catch-22’: they can apply for a 60,000 euro grant from the EUCF to enable them to investigate relevant investment concepts and develop these into mature business and funding plans. This grant is awarded as a lump sum that municipalities can use for a variety of purposes (including to conduct feasibility studies, risk analyses, market research, stakeholder analysis, technical research, and legal or financial analyses). It should be understood that the grant does not cover the cost of the actual energy investments that local authorities will eventually have to make.

How does the EUCF define ‘investment concepts’?

The EUCF describes an investment concept as a document which translates an investment project idea into ‘financial language’ in order to mobilise financing for its realisation. In other words: it will help local authorities to develop their project ideas into business and funding plans. The objective is to provide investors and financiers with the initial, provisional information they require to be able to assess the proposed investment project in a straightforward and efficient manner.

New call for proposals starts in June 2022

The EUCF grant is intended exclusively for local authorities in EU Member States, plus several associated countries. Consortiums of various local authorities (i.e. municipalities and local governments) are encouraged to apply. Please note that grant applications can only be submitted as part of official calls for proposals. The fourth (and probably last) of these EUCF calls is open for applications from 9 June to 30 September 2022 (17:00 CET).

Proposals submitted will be compared with each other, with only the best projects receiving funding. EGEN can provide more information on request about the assessment criteria, along with advice to applicants (e.g. on how to increase the number of points awarded and assessing a proposal’s potential for success).

How can EGEN make a difference for you?

Municipalities that have specific plans to develop energy and/or climate plans and are looking for additional sources of funding are advised to contact EGEN. Our experts will be able to assist them in preparing the most competitive, high-potential proposal. For one, they are aware of the opportunities available for receiving grants and funding related to Sustainable Urban Development, local energy systems, and opportunities related to energy and circularity. In addition, EGEN develops funding and innovation roadmaps and investment concepts, as well as building innovation-driven (often cross-sectoral) partnerships and conducting stakeholder and market analyses. We are also involved in initiatives such as the Circular Cities and Regions Initiative (CCRI) and are responsible for drafting the European ‘Circular City Funding Guide’.

For further information, please call +31 (0)88 838 13 81 or use the contact form below.

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