On Friday 19 October, 3E hosted the Flux50 workshop: ‘Can innovative energy concepts conquer the market?’ A series of experienced speakers focused on the financing of innovative energy concepts where energy is offered as a service.
“There is a mass of liquidity to finance good projects” said Joost Declerck of Belfius.
Both Belfius and KBC have already products in their portfolio to support energy investments.
Although several Energy Service Companies (ESCO) established their first lighthouse projects, the market needs to evolve to facilitate a further uptake.
“We are still in a non-mature market moving towards a mature market comparable to the situation where the PV industry was in 10 years ago with the main difference the absence of the market intervention by subsidies.” explained Tom Pollyn of Menapy.
Three aspects were highlighted by several speakers to accelerate the introduction of innovative energy concepts.
1. Firstly, pooling or aggregating different projects is important to increase the economy of scale, spread the risk, and align with the magnitude of which banks are experienced with.
2. Secondly, “an integrated approach offers the potential to finance renovations with a longer payback time (ventilation, heating space) by the low hanging fruit (relighting, smart control)” tells Antoon Soete of Wattson.
3. Thirdly, the interaction with the customers makes the difference. “It is not easy to explain people that it can be comfortable even without a gas boiler in house” according to Stijn van Asch of VALOR. “It is wise to invest time and coffee. The customer is in the lead.” knows Morten Mejsen Westergaard of the Municipality of Middelfart (Denmark).
The first projects were initially fully financed by investors. With several successful first experiences, banks are now already stepping in directly in the first phase of the project. The first hurdle has been taken. Now the further roll-out and awareness creation lies ahead.
Jelle Meersmans of Enervalis concluded with “I hope the light goes out this winter to reduce the resilience and increase the sense of urgency.”