The Energy Investment readiness accelerator helps innovative companies improve their business case in order to get these initiatives financed.
Many SMEs that are active in the sustainable energy sector are developing new products and services. Since the energy market is a complex market they often encounter problems in fine tuning their business case in such a way that it meets the requirements of financers.

In Utrecht there is a public energy fund (www.energiefondsutrecht.nl) which can provide risk capital for energy related SME’s and special purpose vehicles. The fund has problems financing initiatives because the quality of business cases is normally not up to standards. The Energy Investment readiness accelerator helps improve business cases.

The Energy Investment readiness accelerator is a flexible instrument. Process support is sometimes required and in other cases fiscal and legal optimization is necessary to make the business case investor ready.
After the initiators have set up a good business case with the aid of the energy development fund, this ‘energiefondsutrecht’ can help to get the financing completed. Especially the alignment of these publicly funded instruments seems to contribute to the success of the instrument.

To date around 20 initiatives have received funds from the Energy Investment readiness accelerator. Of those around half were able to attract finance for their initiative. In some case it can be shown that without the Energy Investment readiness accelerator the initiative would not have been funded.

Resources needed

The last 6 years a total of €1.2 million was available for this instrument of which presently around € 400K remains.

Evidence of success

To date around 20 initiatives have received funds from the Energy Investment readiness accelerator. Of those around half were able to attract finance for their initiative. In some case it can be shown that without the Energy Investment readiness accelerator the initiative would not have been funded.
It is therefore safe to conclude that the Energy Investment readiness accelerator is successful and helps to improve investment readiness.

Difficulties encountered

It is hard to find and select those initiatives that will be financed when their business case is improved.

Potential for learning or transfer

In many regions there is an ecosystem that supports innovative companies and the creation of these companies. Knowledge institutions and TTO’s are involved and normally there is also a network of successful entrepreneurs that assist and help growing companies. However, access to finance remains complicated for many innovative companies. We have seen that is important not only to invest in the innovation ecosystem of the regions but we also need to invest in the investment readiness of the companies.
The Energy Investment readiness accelerator is easily replicated in other regions. Only real condition is that (public) funds are available. EIB instruments such as Elena are instruments that are designed for this purpose and can be interesting for regions to explore.
Another key success factor is a good selection procedure of initiatives that can be eligible for the Energy Investment readiness accelerator.

Please login to see the expert opinion of this good practice.

Project
Main institution
Province of Utrecht
Location
Utrecht, Netherlands (Nederland)
Start Date
October 2012
End Date
Ongoing

Contact

Please login to contact the author.