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GenevaUNECE looks at policy reforms and potential for investments in energy efficiency in Eastern Europe.

UNECE held the second Seminar on Policy Reforms to Promote Energy Efficiency (EE) and Renewable Energy (RE) Investments on 20-22 October 2010 in Geneva. The seminar was part of the 16th session of the Group of Experts on Energy Efficiency Investments for Climate Change Mitigation.

In April this year the Regional Analysis of Policy Reforms was finalized. Delegates discussed how the recommendations of this study are being implemented in the 12 countries participating in the project Financing Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Investments for Climate Change Mitigation (FEEI), which include Albania, Belarus, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Kazakhstan, Republic of Moldova, Romania, Russian Federation, Serbia, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, and Ukraine.

A number of significant improvements and steps to overcome barriers for investments in EE and RE projects have been taken in recent months. Many countries established energy efficiency strategies and action plans for further development of the energy sector and introduced governmental monitoring of their implementation and of the enforcement of the legislation.

There are still barriers for EE and RE investments, including: lack of secondary legislation regulating EE and RE sector; limited capacity of transmission grids, which restricts possibilities for new RE power generation capacity; and capital constraints due to high upfront costs and long payback periods. The delegates exchanged views on the ways to overcome these and other existing barriers.

Conning Asset Management Limited, which is designing the public-private partnership investment fund for EE and RE projects, introduced the lead investor for the future fund - London-based NBGI Private Equity.

The delegates engaged in a lively discussion on the primary focus of the fund, problems with financing relatively small projects and requirements for the expertise of the investment fund manager. The Group of Experts confirmed the need to launch the fund in the near future and to have a pipeline of EE and RE projects ready for the fund to invest in soon after the launch.

For further information http://www.unece.org/energy/se/eneffic.html

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