In June 2012, the Steering Committee of the Western Balkans Investment Framework (WBIF) approved a €23.35 million grant to the EBRD to establish the Regional Energy Efficiency Programme for the Western Balkans. The WBIF is a joint initiative of the European Commission together with the partner IFIs (CEB, EBRD and EIB) and bilateral donors which pools grant resources in order to leverage loans for the financing of priority infrastructure and socio-economic development in the Western Balkans.
The new REEP for the Western Balkans seeks to benefit from prior experience with sustainable energy financing facilities (SEFFs) by replicating the model while modifying it to best support the participating countries to achieve their sustainable energy objectives as set out in their NEEAPs. The REEP is thus made out of three complementary „windows“.
Window 1 is called the „policy dialogue and project preparation support“ window. A total of €6 million for technical assistance has been set aside for this window which will facilitate intensive policy dialogue with the authorities in the region and to support public authorities to prepare energy efficiency ESCO projects. The work aims to set up the regulatory frameworks and overcome market barriers that will catalyse investment in energy efficiency and allow energy service company (ESCO) markets to emerge. It is divided into two thematic areas: ESCO support and general policy dialogue.
Window 2 is a credit line facility window (WeBSEFF II). This window of work consists of a €92 million credit line framework. The credit lines will be extended to local financial institutions for on-lending to smaller scale energy efficiency and renewable energy projects. This finance is accessible by both public and private sector borrowers. The WBIF provides grant funding for technical assistance and investment incentives.
Window 3 is a direct financing facility window (WeBSEDFF). A total of €50 million was allocated by the EBRD to replenish WeBSEDFF funding. This is invested in both medium-scale renewable energy and energy efficiency improvements in industrial enterprises. Furthermore, the facility intends to provide financing to ESCO projects. The WBIF provides grant funding for technical assistance and investment incentives.