The Energy Efficiency Financial Institutions Group (EEFIG), co-convened by the European Commission and the UNEP Finance Initiative (UNEP FI), has launched the De-risking Energy Efficiency Platform (DEEP) – an open-source database containing detailed information and analysis of over 7,800 industrial and buildings related energy efficiency projects, with an investment total of over Euro 1.5 billion.

DEEP is a direct response to the EEFIG report “Energy Efficiency – the first fuel for the EU Economy: How to drive new finance for energy efficiency investments”, which recommended to investigate the real risks and benefits of energy efficiency investments based on market evidence and track record. The database provides technical and financial data on implemented energy efficiency projects. The DEEP platform is a new source of information on operational risk management. It can help project developers, financiers, and investors better assess the risks and benefits of energy efficiency investments.

The projects included in DEEP can be used as examples of cost effective energy efficiency investments. The median payback period for the industrial projects featured in the database is two years. The picture is more complex for buildings where single measures, such as lighting, repay in three years. Renovations with multiple measures (including building fabric) typically require over 11 years to return the investments.

DEEP is an important element of the Smart Financing for Smart Buildings initiative, which, in turn, is a part of the Clean Energy for all Europeans package. Other pillars of the Smart Financing for Smart Buildings initiative are:

  • Capacity building actions to help further deploy financial Instruments (e.g. FI Compass – a website and advisory service to help projects identify suitable FIs)
  • Reinforcing EU Project Development Assistance (PDA) to help project promoters aggregate projects
  • De-risking activity, including DEEP and a planned value and risk appraisal framework, to help investors and promoters assess energy efficiency investments

DEEP may be an inspirational source of real-life project examples to those Interreg Europe projects which are focussed on energy efficiency, particularly those with an interest in how it is financed, such as BUILD2LC, FINERPOL, LOCARBO, REBUS, ZERCO2 and EMPOWER.