• Greece’s Ministry of Development and Investments will use European Local Energy Assistance (ELENA) funded technical assistance to prepare at least EUR 79m worth of energy efficiency projects countrywide.
  • Technical assistance services will help prepare renovations to improve energy efficiency in public buildings, such as schools, hospitals, sports venues, and administrative facilities.
  • Retrofits will lead to a reduction of at least 64 GWh in energy consumption each year, which is equivalent to an annual cut of nearly 20,000 tonnes of CO2 emissions.
  • Additionally, EIB and Ministry of Development and Investments sign cooperation agreement for initial one-and-a-half-year period to boost investments in climate adaptation in Greece.

The European Investment Bank (EIB) has signed a new ELENA contract for Technical Assistance with the Greek state and the work supported will significantly improve energy efficiency in public buildings and other venues such as schools, hospitals, sports facilities, and administrative buildings all over the country.

The ELENA grant will support the Ministry in the preparation of three schemes targeting energy efficiency retrofits in 18 public buildings, the installation of photovoltaic panels on those buildings which will annually produce over 7 GWh of renewable electricity, and energy efficiency measures in the regional and municipal street lighting network in over 40,000 street lighting points.

The new contract between the EIB and Greece’s Ministry of Development and Investments was announced in Athens on January 12, during a signing ceremony at the Ministry of Development and Investments. In attendance were Ioannis Tsakiris, Greece’s Alternate Minister of Development and Investments, Ioannis Kaltsas, Head of the EIB’s Investment Team for Greece, Tanja Tanayama, Head of InvestEU Advisory Hub, Louise White, ELENA Coordinator at the EIB and Alexandros Zacharof, Senior Advisor at the EIB.

“Our new cooperation with the EIB has two goals: The strengthening of the Development and Investment Ministry’s valuable and longstanding collaboration with the EIB in new fields and providing support for the Greek bodies involved in energy saving and tackling climate change. The Development and Investment Ministry’s “PRODIGEE” initiative aims to further energy efficiency actions and will receive financing of EUR 2.5 million from the EIB’s ELENA initiative. PRODIGEE seeks to achieve project maturity for improving the energy efficiency of street lighting and public buildings, while also supporting the installation of photovoltaics in the built environment. These are actions that will assist environmental sustainability and help reduce emissions. The final beneficiaries will be regional authorities, municipalities, organizations from the public administration, public entities and private law entities overseen directly or indirectly by the state. Beyond our agreement with the EIB’s Advisory Hub, we aim to contribute enthusiastically and effectively to the task of generating proposals that will help adapt investment in Greece to climate change,” said Ioannis Tsakiris, Greece’s Alternate Minister of Development and Investments.

“To meet the 2030 climate target, energy efficiency needs to be prioritized and we are very happy that the ELENA contract with the Ministry of Development and Investments will support an expert team at the national level to prepare much-needed energy efficiency investments,” said Louise White, ELENA Coordinator at the EIB.

Greece strengthens ELENA partnership

This latest agreement marks the fifth project in Greece backed by ELENA technical assistance, and the first at the national level. Previous projects completed include the development of Smart-Grid Infrastructure in off-grid islands in the Aegean Sea, and efficient, eco-friendly transportation, public lighting and buildings in the region of Epirus. Two more projects are ongoing - Improving Energy Efficiency in the Region of South Aegean and INTERACT in Crete (INTegrated sustainable enERgy ACTions).

This latest agreement means the Ministry of Development and Investments will use ELENA technical assistance to support primarily the implementation of its ELECTRA programme, which consists of over EUR 700m worth of energy efficiency investments in total.

ELENA – powering sustainable local projects around Europe

European Local Energy Assistance (ELENA) is a joint initiative by the EIB and the European Commission. It provides grants to support the preparation of sustainable projects via technical assistance for energy efficiency and renewable energy investments, targeting buildings and innovative urban transport. The EIB assists the beneficiaries to set up their programmes to best realise investments.

Established in 2009, the ELENA facility helps public and private entities to implement energy efficiency, renewable energy, and sustainable transport projects, thus reducing greenhouse gas emissions. ELENA support may be requested for fostering three key areas: sustainable energy, sustainable transport, and sustainable residential property.

From 2014-2020 it operated under the Horizon 2020 programme. ELENA will continue under the current Multi-Annual Financing Framework (2021-2027) under the umbrella of the InvestEU Programme.

Greece to benefit from EIB expertise on climate adaptation

The additional agreement between the EIB and Greece’s Ministry of Development and Investments for technical advisory services on climate adaptation means Greece will benefit from vital expertise in helping to accelerate investments across the country. Under the agreement, which was also signed today, the EIB will provide cost-free, targeted advisory services to the Greek government thanks to support from the InvestEU Advisory Hub.

In Greece, like in many other countries, infrastructure assets and public services are exposed to multiple climate risks. Therefore, the objective of the EIB advisory support is to help the Greek national and regional authorities focus more on climate risks and adaptation measures when planning their public investments. Based on this new national-level support, the EIB will also back several regional authorities in reviewing their regional adaptation plans and identifying adaptation investments.