EU support for first energy efficiency investment platform in Lithuania

Energy efficiency Investment Platforms - 29 October 2019

The European Investment Bank (EIB) and National Promotional Institution Viesuju Investiciju Pletros Agentura (VIPA) - the Lithuanian Public Investment Development Agency, member of the CitizEE project- have signed a €12.5 million first tranche of a €25 million approved facility, supporting the creation of the first national energy efficiency investment platform in Lithuania. The project is backed by the Juncker Plan's European Fund for Strategic Investments (EFSI)and focuses on climate action, while also generating cohesion benefits.

The financing will be used to support the first dedicated national investment platform – which already has a strong pipeline of eligible projects – to promote and finance energy efficiency modernisation projects across Lithuania. The underlying investments will focus on the installation of solar panels on private homes, the renovation of multi-apartment buildings and energy efficiency investment in industrial companies, mainly focusing on efficient lighting. As such, the platform will serve many different beneficiaries throughout Lithuania, helping them to cut CO2 emissions and lower their energy bills.

European Commissioner Vytenis Andriukaitis said: “It is vital that we bring our homes and businesses into the 21st century when it comes to their carbon footprint. I am very pleased that the Juncker Plan is supporting Lithuania’s first energy efficiency investment platform. Not only will the projects financed by this platform help Lithuania meet its sustainability objectives, but consumers will see a drop in their energy bills. A win-win.”

“As shown by the EIB’s previous experience, in particular through the JESSICA initiative in Lithuania, there is so much to gain from energy efficiency,” said EIB Vice President Alexander Stubb. “We often don’t realise it, but isolating our buildings, or using more efficient lighting, can make a huge difference to our use of energy. I feel that setting up this platform will not only have a substantial impact on people’s lives and their energy bills, but will also give visibility to an important issue in the current climate debate.”

“We are delighted to be in a partnership with the European Investment Bank in order to support energy efficiency investment platform. VIPA invites all legal entities to join energy efficiency project implementation in Lithuania as well as to apply for energy efficiency investment platform loans designed for increasing energy efficiency and to become prosumer” said Gvidas Dargužas, Chief Executive Officer of VIPA.

The establishment of the energy efficiency investment platform aligns with the policy priorities of the Lithuanian government in terms of energy efficiency and sustainability. This project falls partly under the Smart Finance for Smart Buildings (“SFSB”) Initiative, a joint initiative of the EIB Group and the European Commission (EC) aiming at supporting Energy Efficiency investments in buildings.

Background information

The European Investment Bank (EIB) is the long-term lending institution of the European Union, owned by its Member States. It makes long-term finance available for sound investment in order to contribute towards EU policy goals. Over the last 5 years, the EIB made available over €1.1 billion in credit lines for SMEs as well as loans to the energy, transport and service sectors in Lithuania.

The Public Investment Development Agency (VIPA) is a state-owned National Promotional Institution (NPI) which provide loans, guarantees for repayable investments, implementation of similar measures for urban development, optimization of public infrastructure, and energy efficiency improvements in Lithuania. VIPA activities are financed by the European Union, national, and other financial assistance programmes and financing sources.

This agreement has been made possible thanks to the support of the European Fund for Strategic Investments (EFSI). The EFSI is the pillar of the Investment Plan for Europe, known as the Juncker Plan. Its support increases the EIB Group’s capacity to finance investment projects that, in line with the Juncker Plan’s criteria, fosters the EU competitiveness and create new jobs. The Juncker Plan focuses on boosting investment to generate jobs and growth by making smarter use of new and existing financial resources, removing obstacles to investment, and providing visibility and technical assistance to investment projects.

The EFSI provides first loss guarantees, enabling the EIB to invest in more projects that often come with greater risks. The projects and agreements approved for financing under EFSI are expected to mobilize €433.2 billion in investments. The Plan is currently supporting 972,000 SMEs in the 28 Member States. More information on the results of the Investment Plan for Europe is available here.

Source: European Commission