New financing opportunities for businesses were presented at the seventh edition of the Sustainable Energy Investment Forum

Ministry of Innovation and Growth supports businesses with 146 million leva

On 29 November in Sofia, the CEE EnEffect together with MEEN EcoEnergy, the Bulgarian Industrial Association and Sofia Municipality organised a national roundtable on financing energy efficiency and renewable energy projects, which focused on sustainable energy projects in industry and small and medium-sized enterprises.

The event was attended by Teodora Polimerova, Sofia Municipality, Dobri Mitrev, Bulgarian Industrial Association, Velina Popova, Head of Programming Department, Directorate General European Competitiveness Funds, Ministry of Innovation and Growth, Sofia Kasidova, Bulgarian Development Bank, and representatives of some of the largest Bulgarian commercial banks.

Among the leading topics discussed by the experts were:

  • Existing financial instruments to support energy efficiency and renewable energy in enterprises;
  • Successful practices and barriers in applying specialised financial products;
  • Energy management systems in enterprises.

"Improved transparency and awareness of the function of public consultations is needed for the optimal use of public funds as a tool for attracting private investments," noted Dragomir Tzanev, executive director of the Center for Energy Efficiency EnEffect.

The event format provides a platform for exchange and coordination between national authorities, representatives of business associations and financial institutions to promote investment in sustainable energy projects in industry and local enterprises. 

"Challenges make us resilient and more flexible, and human capital is the most valuable. Regardless of whether we are ready or not, the transformation is inevitable," commented Dobri Mitrev, Chairman of the Board of the Bulgarian Chamber of Commerce. 

According to Mitrev, there is progress in communication between the administration and business and improvement of dialogue.

During the conference, the latest funding programmes and future projects that will support businesses in a period of energy and economic crisis were presented. 

A new financial instrument will support businesses with BGN 146 million under the program for RES and local storage for own needs, announced Velina Popova, head of the "Programming" department of the General Directorate of "European Competitiveness Funds" in the Ministry of Innovation and Growth. The Ministry reports that the program call will open by the end of the year. 

Sofia Kasidova from the Bulgarian Development Bank presented the financing and support opportunities that the bank provides to start-ups, small and medium-size enterprises. Kasidova also commented that the Bulgarian Development Bank complements, rather than competes with, commercial banks and as a national institution strives to improve the services it provides.

The Municipality of Sofia noted its active work on the "Solar Cities" project, financed by the European Climate Initiative, whose main goal is to promote the implementation process of projects in the field of renewable energy sources (RES). Over the next year, support will be provided to 2,000 buildings in the capital, which will be provided with aerial photography, financial analyses, a digital platform with information on saved emissions and electricity production after the installation of solar installations.

Teodora Polimerova from Sofia Municipality clarified that the aim of the programme is not to provide grants to households, but to prepare buildings for the application, as the initial assessment is a significant cost and efforts. 

The interest in the event, held in a hybrid format, reflects the growing importance of the topic of energy efficiency and renewable energy for businesses, institutions and consumers.

The seventh edition of the forum is part of a total of 12 upcoming events that EnEffect will be organizing in the coming months. The event also opened the XVI National Conference of the Association of Energy Agencies in Bulgaria.

The presentations from the forum are available here.