With a total budget of €730 million, the Intelligent Energy-Europe Programme aims to increase the use of renewable energy and reduce energy consumption by supporting energy efficiency, new and renewable energy sources, and technological solutions to reduce greenhouse gas emissions caused by the transport sector. Intelligent Energy-Europe is addressing key energy challenges in the EU and helping to change systems and habits through more than 500 projects,the setting up of local energy agencies and by organising events all over Europe.
European Local Energy Assistance: ELENA
The European Commission and the European Investment Bank (EIB) are implementing the ELENA technical assistance facility to help local and regional authorities unlock their sustainable energy investment potential. The ELENA facility aims to boost investment projects in the areas of energy efficiency; renewable energy sources and sustainable urban transport, replicating successful stories from other parts of Europe. ELENA support covers a share of the cost for technical support that is necessary to prepare, implement and finance the investment programme, such as feasibility and market studies, structuring of programmes, business plans, energy audits, preparation for tendering procedures - in short, everything necessary to make cities' and regions' sustainable energy projects ready for EIB funding. Up to 90% of eligible costs can be covered by a community grant, following a selection and award procedure. The facility is funded from the Intelligent Energy-Europe (IEE) programme, and has an initial budget of EUR 15 million for the first year of operation.
Full details of the conditions attached to the grant financing and an explanatory brochure are available at: http://www.eib.org/elena
Sustainable development, achieved by higher energy efficiency and the increased role of renewable energy sources in the energy sector, is one of the two key areas (along with the Trans-European Transport Network) of intervention financed by the Cohesion Fund.
European Regional Development Fund
The objective of the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) is strengthening the economic and social cohesion in the European Union by correcting imbalances between its regions. The promotion of sustainable energy is a priority of the European Regional Development Fund. The ERDF is intervening in the three objectives of regional policy:
European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development
Rural development can contribute to the mitigation of climate change. Sustainable energy is a cross-cutting area within the new European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development 2007-2013. In addition, the development and innovative use of renewable energy sources must be strengthened, as it can also constitute a means of diversification for the rural economy
LIFE Programme 2007-2013
LIFE is the EU’s financial instrument supporting environmental and nature conservation projects throughout the EU, as well as in some candidate, acceding and neighbouring countries. Since 1992, LIFE has co-financed some 3115 projects, contributing approximately €2 billion to the protection of the environment. The LIFE+ Programme has +/-€700 million available for environmental projects in 2007-2013.
JESSICA, Joint European Support for Sustainable Investment in City Areas, is an initiative of the Commission in cooperation with the European Investment Bank (EIB) and the Council of Europe Development Bank (CEB) to promote sustainable investment, growth and jobs in Europe’s urban areas.
The INTERREG IVC Programme is part of the European Territorial Cooperation Objective. It is an EU programme that helps regions of Europe work together to share their knowledge and experience. Launched in 2007, the programme will run until 2013.
The programme provides funding for all regions of Europe plus Switzerland and Norway (regional and local public authorities) to exchange and transfer knowledge and good practice. The programme has two main themes as priorities: the ‘Innovation and Knowledge economy’ and the ‘Environment and Risk prevention’. These priorities reflect the strategy of the European Union to encourage growth and jobs in line with the Lisbon and Gothenburg Strategy. INTERREG IVC finances the network element of the European Commission initiative Regions for Economic Change.
The CONCERTO initiative is a Europe wide initiative proactively addressing the challenges of creating a more sustainable future for Europe’s energy needs. Today, there are a total of 45 communities in 18 projects, each working to deliver the highest possible level of self-supply of energy. CONCERTO is part of the framework research programme supervised by the European Commission's Directorate-General for Energy.
The following links offer more information on EU funding related to sustainable energy: