Following the first
call for proposals, September 2007, of the new Intelligent Energy for
Europe Programme (IEE2), INFORSE-Europe has the following comments:
Proposals for Improvement
of Intelligent Energy for Europe (IEE) by
International Network for Sustainable Energy – Europe
The promotion of
energy efficiency and renewable energy is very important to reach climate
targets and reduce EU countries' dependence of imported
fuels. EU's IEE program is the only program on a European scale that
support this promotion among all stakeholders. It has important
roles to increase cooperation in Europe on renewable energy and energy
and to enhance EU policies for renewable energy and energy efficiency.
- The funding is
small compared to the size of EU, and should be increased 2-3 times
to fulfill the aims
trend towards larger projects reduces the participation of NGOs
and the number of projects, it should be reversed
should be 2-3 projects for each priority topic.
foster better cooperation on sustainable energy is propsoed a new
type of smaller cooperation projects is proposed.
Improvements from first IEE
The IEE2 program from 2007 gave a number of formal improvements compared
with the first IEE program. The most important of this was probably
that the demand for co-funding was reduced from 50% to 25%, thereby
enabling proposers of innovative ideas with less other funding to participate.
This made it easier for NGOs to participate, increasing the number
of possible participants in IEE projects, and making participation
in IEE projects less of a burden for smaller organisations.
The overhead rate
of 60% on wages is also an improvement, as it makes a more level playing
field between smaller organisations
and larger organisations
that often have a large turnover on other activities that allows for
large declared overheads with the “full cost accounting” method.
Problems of larger projects and limited funds
A negative trends is the trend towards larger projects, while funds are
not increased substantially, at least not compared with the increasing
number of EU countries. This gives fewer projects that typically will
have larger partners, and thereby less NGOs.
With the many different priorities in the IEE work programme, and the
large project size, there is not funding for more than one project for
each priority, and in some cases there will be no projects at all for
a certain priority. This reduces the dynamic role of the IEE, as it will
not for each be possible to start more projects with different partners
on each topic, it this respect making the IEE more like a tendering program
than a grant program to support a number of activities in each field.
The lack of projects in some priority areas also make the detailed work
with the priorities less meaningful.
To make the IEE a dynamic grant program, fostering different ideas for
each priority topic, there should be 2-3 projects for each topic. This
will either require that funds are increased or that smaller projects
are supported. With the relatively small funds (such as 50 mill. €/year),
it will not be possible to increase the number of projects substantially
and still have meaningful projects.
Stronger emphasis on cooperation needed
An important aim of the IEE program is to foster cooperation between
sustainable energy promoters in different countries. With the decreasing
number of projects and the discontinuation of support for conferences,
the program is not working so effective towards this aim. There are
in these years a particular demand for fostering cooperation between
the “old” and the “new” EU countries, where
energy efficiency and renewable energy are still given substantially
One way to promote cooperation without a large increase in the IEE
budgets would be to open for smaller projects with the special aim
cooperation in each of the priority topics. Each project should include
one or more conferences, an internet-site or portal, an exchange of information
with short reports from different EU countries and recommendations for
national and EU-level actions. Such projects should be less than the
current projects, recommended EU support 100,000 – 250,000 Eur.
They should also have administration and the project period should be
The IEE program often support activities of national energy agencies.
While this is valuable to involve these agencies, they are better than
most other stakeholder able to fund projects activities themselves.
Therefore a large involvement of national agencies can tend to crowd
out other stakeholders. One possible way to address that could be to
give priority to projects, where national energy agencies are co-funding
a larger part of the cost of their own participation than 25%.
Private companies are often important as participants. They must, however,
participate on equal conditions with other stakeholders. Therefore it
is important that they do not include overheads costs with profit margins
and similar costs such as contingencies, reserves etc.
The process of proof of legal structure could be simplified for the
application, and then be done with more scrutiny for successful applications.
These proposals are
based on analysis by the INFORSE-Europe secretariat with inputs from
Severn Wye Energy Agency and other members.
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