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Clean energy for EU islands
30 June 2020

Project implementation

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European Structural and Investment Funds


European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development


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The European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development supports European policy on rural development. The Fund focuses on three main objectives: fostering the competitiveness of agriculture, ensuring the sustainable management of natural resources, and climate action, achieving a balanced territorial development of rural economies and communities.

Who can apply
Local authorities and administrative bodies
Social, cultural and educational institutions
Companies, SMEs and associations

→ Learn more about the fund and its policies here

European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development


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The EMFF is the fund for the EU's maritime and fisheries policies. The Fund is used to co-finance projects, along with national funding.

Who can apply
Coastal and inland communities active in the fishing sector.

→ Learn more on how to access the funding

European Rural Development Fund


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The European Rural Development Fund aims to strengthen economic and social cohesion in the European Union by correcting imbalances between its regions. The focus of investments under this programme lies on innovation and research, the digital agenda, support for SMEs and the low carbon economy. Areas that are naturally disadvantaged from a geographical viewpoint (remote, mountainous or sparsely populated areas, including Outermost Areas) benefit from special treatment. 

Who can apply
Depending on the operational programme:
Local authorities and administrative bodies
Social, cultural and educational institutions
NGOs, Companies, SMEs and associations

 Contact your national liaison for more information


European Funding Programmes


Connecting Europe Facility


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The Connecting Europe Facility is a key EU funding instrument to promote growth, jobs and competitiveness through targeted infrastructure investment. It supports the development of projects in sectors of energy, digital services and transport.

Who can apply
Public authorities
Private companies
Private non-commercial organisations, NGOs only in coordination or the agreement with national government.

→ More information on how to apply and open calls here

Horizon 2020


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Horizon 2020 is the biggest EU research and innovation programme. It is the financial instrument implementing the Innovation Union, a Europe 2020 flagship initiative aimed at securing Europe's global competitiveness.

Who can apply
Any legal entities based in the EU and other participating countries
Usually, H2020 asks for the participation of at least 3 partners from 3 participated countries. Special conditions might apply to specific calls.

 Learn more about how to apply for Horizon 2020 funding



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The LIFE programme is the EU’s funding instrument for the environment and climate action. It helps companies bring their green products, technologies, services and  processes to the market These projects launch innovative solutions that offer clear environmental and /or climate benefits.

Who can apply
Public authorities (local, regional, national)
Private commercial organisations
Private non-commercial organisation, such as NGOs

 More information on how to apply here



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Interreg Europe offers opportunities for regional and local public authorities across Europe to share ideas and experience on public policy in practice, therefore improving strategies for their citizens and communities. Projects supported by interreg are R&I, SME competitiveness, low-carbon economy and environment and resource efficiency.

Who can apply
Public authorities (local, regional and national)
Managing authorities/intermediate bodies in charge of the Investment for Growth and Jobs Programmes or European Territorial Cooperation
Agencies, research institutes, thematic and non-profit organisations engaging with their local policymakers
Suggested: between 5 and 10 partners from a minimum of 3 countries

 More information on the fund and how to apply here

Urban Innovative Action


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Urban Innovative Action provides urban areas throughout Europe with resources to test new and unproven solutions to address urban challenges.

Who can apply
Public authorities or associations or groupings of public authorities representing a population of at least 50 000 inhabitants. This can include cross-border associations or groupings, associations or groupings in different regions and/or Member States.

→ Learn more about the initiative here


Project Development Assistance


NESOI - European Islands Facility


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NESOI is a Horizon2020 project aiming to financially support the development of 60 clean energy projects on EU islands by 2023. The project finances technical assistance (not project implementation) to local authorities, with up to 60 000 EUR per grant. It further provides capacity-building and fund matching support.

Who can apply
Any public and private legal entity established in EU Member States (Outermost Regions are eligible, Overseas Countries and Territories are not)
Both single entities and consortia can apply for support

 More information on the project and how to apply here
 More information on the eligibility criteria


Financial Institutions instruments


European Fund for Strategic Investment


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The European Fund for Strategic Investment (EFSI) is one of the three pillars of the Investment Plan for Europe. With EFSI support, the European Investment Bank provides funding for economically viable projects, especially for projects with a higher risk profile than usually taken on by banks. The fund focuses on the following sectors: Strategic infrastructure, education, research, development and innovation, renewable energy and resource efficiency, and support for SMEs.

Who can apply
All types of public and private investors in Europe are eligible for EFSI funding. Make sure to pay attention to the different minimum investment amounts under the different investment programmes.

→ Learn more about the fund here
 How to apply for a loan

Investment loans


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European Investment Bank lends the money to the public to finance a single large investment project or program as well as program consisted of small projects. They also support small companies through local banks and lend money to innovative start-ups. Mid-cap companies can receive direct support for research and development investments. 

Who can apply
Public and private sector promoters

→ Learn more about the loans

Natural Capital Financing Facility


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The Natural Capital Financing Facility is a financial instrument that supports projects on biodiversity and climate adaptation through tailored loans and investments. The facility supports projects working on the following themes: Payments for ecosystem services, green infrastructure, innovative pro-biodiversity and adaptation investments, biodiversity offsets. 

Who can apply
Public and private entities, including public authorities, land owners and businesses as well as private non-commercial organisations such as Non-Governmental Organisations. Financial institutions can also benefit as investors or as financial intermediaries.

→ Learn more about the fund and open calls


Alternative Financing Schemes


Citizen cooperatives


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Energy cooperatives refer to a business model where citizens jointly own and participate in renewable energy or energy efficiency  projects. In energy cooperatives citizens are involved in both the decision making and financial & economical participation. 

Who can participate
Any person can be a member of the cooperative and participate in its financing schemes.

→ More information about energy cooperatives here



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Crowdfunding is the use of small amounts of capital from a large number of individuals to finance a new business venture. Using crowdfunding creates you the opportunity to raise the money quickly and easily for projects supported by the like-minded supporters who are eager to help.

Who can participate
Any person or legal entity can be a part of creowdfunding camapign, either as a initator or a donor.

→ More information about crowdfunding here

Revolving loan funds


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Revolving loan funds (RLFs) are pools of capital from which loans can be made for clean energy projects, As the loans get reimbursed, the capital is then reloaned for another project. State and local governments can establish RLFs to support both their own energy upgrades (i.e., internal), and those in private sector (i.e., external).

A revolving loan fund provides access to a flexible source of capital that can be used in combination with more conventional sources. Often, the RLF is a bridge between the amount the borrower can obtain on the private market and the amount needed to start or sustain a business. For example, a borrower may obtain 60 to 80 percent of project financing from other sources.

Learn more about revolving loan funds via

 Energy Cities

Energy Performance Contracting


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Energy performance contracting is a mechanism for organising the energy efficiency financing. The EPC involves an Energy Service Company (ESCO) which provides various services, such as finances and guaranteed energy savings. 

→ Learn more about the model here

Green municipal bonds


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A green municipal bond is a fixed-income financial instrument for raising capital through the debt capital market. The former is explicitly labelled as “green” by the issuer, and a commitment is made to use the proceeds of the green bond to exclusively finance or re-finance projects with an environmental benefit.

Who can apply
Companies or governmental bodies

→ Learn more about the bonds here

On-bill financing


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“On-bill financing” is a mechanism where financing repayments are made monthly through an existing utility bill. In the on-bill financing business model, the utility does not only administer the program and collect payments via electricity bills, but it also finances the investments from its own capital. The mechanism worked well for small businesses that require simple, turnkey approaches to improve their energy efficiency and for private owners of residential buildings seeking financing for energy efficiency measures. This model generates annual cost savings for the building owner within the loan term and is often combined with grants to be cost-effective.

→ Learn more about the scheme (Interreg website)
 Learn more about the value proposition
 More information about residential building energy renovations with on-bill financing

Soft loans & guarantees


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A soft loan is a loan with no interest or a below-market rate of interest . Soft loans are often made by multinational development banks, affiliates of the World Bank , or federal governments (or government agencies) to developing countries that would be unable to borrow at the market rate.

Who can participate
Local and regional authorities in cooperation with financing institutions can offer to homeowners of private residential buildings loans and guarantees.

→ Learn more about the investment schemes here