High on the agenda

2017 got off to a promising start for PRACSIS with the organisation of the Energy Efficiency Finance Market Place in Brussels, managed by the European Commission’s Executive Agency for SMEs (EASME). The event showed examples of innovative financing for energy efficiency and is the second in a series of more than 30 events planned under the Sustainable Energy Investment Forums (SEIF), a new contract managed by PRACSIS.

The European Union is well on track to achieve its energy goals for 2020. To reach the energy efficiency goals for 2030, however, the European Union needs to unleash new sources of finance. This can only happen when public authorities, project developers, the construction industry and the finance sector talk to each other to better understand each other’s interests and methods.

PRACSIS delivered exactly this: an opportunity for different sectors to get to know each other in a lively atmosphere. It arranged an excellent venue with space for plenary and breakout sessions, exhibition booths and a networking dinner. Its staff and hostesses gave on-site support to speakers, participants and exhibiters and ensured a smooth handling of registrations at the welcome desk. PRACSIS also organised full catering services including coffee breaks, lunches and a networking dinner.

One activity that received particular appreciation was a meet-and-greet with twenty of Europe’s leading projects in innovative finance for energy efficiency.

Financing for energy efficiency is a topic high on the European Commission’s agenda. The event came shortly after the publication of Clean Energy for All Europeans and coincided with the opening of several calls on energy efficiency of Horizon 2020, European Union’s funding flagship programme.

The event’s topicality and timeliness was reflected in the turnout of over 350 participants: “a sign that finance for energy efficiency is an issue that is timely and of interest,” said Vincent Berrutto, Head of EASME’s Energy Unit.

A post-event satisfaction survey carried out by PRACSIS showed positive feedback. Some participants said they had gained “new contacts, new ideas and great motivation.” One attendee wrote that she got “a clearer view of the energy efficiency market in Europe.” Others praised the event for evoking enthusiasm and encouragement to move forward.

The next Sustainable Energy Investment Forums will be held in Czech Republic, Denmark and Latvia.