PROSPECT - Peer-powered cities and regions
PROSPECT aims to create an easy and replicable peer to peer learning programme for regional and local authorities to learn with and from each other on how to finance and implement their sustainable energy and climate action plans using innovative schemes.
The learning programme has five thematic learning modules:
In these thematic modules, regional and local authorities, who can serve as mentors or mentees, will learn in two ways: through peer mentoring and study visits. The learning programme has three learning cycles; each learning cycle offers 5 peer mentoring and 5 study visit programmes.
We are looking for 150 local and regional authorities, who can join either as a mentor or a mentee. Participants can be individuals from cities and regions – and public entities who represent them (e.g. energy agencies) – in the European Union.
Recently, numerous studies and surveys have revealed the obstacles and challenges faced by local and regional authorities when trying to implement and finance their sustainable energy action plans:
There is a lot of experience in innovative financing spread across regions and cities within Europe but there is still no structured learning plan available for those who would like to replicate this experience. Some of these innovative schemes are now well enough established to provide a good basis for peer to peer learning. Capacity building and training activities are needed from the demand (e.g. public authorities), as well as the supply side of financing sustainable energy projects, in order to increase synergies among public authorities.
A needs assessment of local authorities performed, based on a survey sent to the members of Energy Cities, EUROCITIES and FEDARENE, demonstrates that the most common barrier for financing public authorities’ sustainable energy projects is the lack of internal capacity to develop and implement innovative financing schemes and investment programmes. Next, the high cost of access to financing, notably in the form of high interest rates, and the non-functioning ESCo markets are also identified as an important barrier in several Member States, followed by the lack of private financing and the issue of debt accounting. A similar study with 555 respondents from cities highlighted that 37% of respondents plan to consider some innovative financing methods, but only 11% have significant experience in a selection of these, which emphasises a need to increase knowledge and capacity-building in innovative financing and business models.