ALTUM Green Bonds (GB) providing loan without collateral to renewable energy and energy efficiency projects, complimented also by EIB Programme ELENA grants.
GB by ALTUM - financial instrument providing funding without a guarantee /collateral for bankable business projects in the field of renewable energy and energy efficiency. It is used to support sustainability projects in Latvia, diversify company’s funding base and support development of the Baltic Bond market. Funding available for projects in energy sector, green buildings, sustainable transport (incl. ESCO) areas and is granted based on the financial situation assessment of the borrower.
GB are issued by ALTUM for 7 years period and as of May 2019 were issued 20 000 bonds with the total value of 20 000 000 EUR. The demand for GB 6.5 times outperformed the planned issuance. GB were purchased by 24 investors in Latvia (43.5%), Lithuania (31%), Estonia (19%), Sweden and Germany (6.5%). In addition, ALTUM manages funding of EIB Programme ELENA that is a joint initiative by the EIB and the European Commission under the Horizon 2020 programme. ELENA provides grants for technical assistance for renewable energy and energy efficiency programmes. The grant can be used to finance costs related to feasibility and market studies, business plans, energy audits and etc. ELENA funding can be used complementary to GB – grants for project preparation and loans for project implementation. The estimated ratio between grant and loan is 1:25. The total investment planned for all projects is 25 million EUR (85% aid intensity rate).
GB issued by ALTUM: 10 million EUR from Bonds have been used. ALTUM plans to use the remaining funding and is assessing the possibility of issuing additional GB.
EIB Programme ELENA: Total budget of the ELENA programme implemented by ALTUM is EUR 1.08 million, including EIB financing EUR 972 000.
Evidence of success
Since October 2017, ~20 companies have received loans - 500000 EUR average per proj., up to 1,3 M EUR for ESCO companies. The demand outperformed the planned issuance by 6.5 times. GB were purchased by 24 different investors, from Baltic States, Sweden and Germany.
According to the Center for International Climate and Environmental Research the financial management and reporting system of GB is at high standards. ALTUM won the Stock Exchange Event of the Year award in Nasdaq Baltic Awards 2019.
The main difficulties relate to administrative burden and restrictions as ALTUM is National Development Finance Institution governed by special law and all of the financial instrument programmes implemented by ALTUM need to be first approved by the Cabinet of Ministers.
Potential for learning or transfer
Effective use of EIB Programme Elena for SMEs. EIB Programme ELENA is designed for investment platforms above 50 million EUR, where there is a limited demand in Latvia. ALTUM as EIB project beneficiary used funding received from EIB to design program where many SMEs could apply for small grants to be used for energy efficiency audits.
Innovative financial instrument (blending). For RES and energy efficiency projects ALTUM provides both: grant for energy efficiency audits and project documentation design; loan for the project implementation.
Therefore, project implementer can receive at ALTUM technical advice, grant for the project design and loan for the project implementation under “single window”.
ALTUM was visited during the IE of the project. ALTUM Board Member provided valuable insights not only about the GB but overall financial instruments implementation status and challenges in Latvia– experience that could be useful to partners when developing their action plans.
Please login to see the expert opinion of this good practice.