Many European cities and local authorities have ambitious climate and sustainable energy action plans. When trying to implement them, however, they face numerous challenges. Although many already have experience with innovative financing, the lack of internal capacities to develop investment packages is still one of the most common barriers for the implementation of sustainable energy projects. Moreover, there are other obstacles: the non-availability of training schemes, the limited internal capacities for the investigation of funding options, and the lack of experience to cooperate with non-traditional actors. In fact, there is a gap between more experienced cities and local authorities with highly advanced sustainable energy projects, and others which are still at an early stage of project development. Peer-to-peer learning opportunities can contribute to closing this gap and promote the replication of successful experiences across Europe.
PROSPECT+ builds on the results of the previous H2020 project PROSPECT, which was implemented from 2014 until 2020 and enabled over 150 cities and regions to learn from their peers about innovative financing schemes and implement sustainable energy projects. PROSPECT+ aims to develop a training programme for cities and local authorities in which they can interactively solve problems with their sustainable energy projects and both identify and overcome their capacity gaps. The specific objectives of PROSPECT+ are fourfold:
- To enhance and execute the already existing capacity building programme developed in PROSPECT, and address at least 200 public authorities through local and regional associations and agencies.
- To engage and create effective and productive capacity building groups among participants, which will result in empowered public authorities with investment-ready projects and increased internal capacities to work on these projects.
- To build partnerships that empower local authorities in the early stages to be tomorrow’s leaders of the energy transition.
- To identify and set up a replication mechanism that enables the learning and the tools from the capacity building programme to reach regions and cities beyond the PROSPECT+ network and the project’s duration.
The PROSPECT+ capacity-building programme focuses on five thematic areas (public buildings, private buildings, transport, public lighting, and cross-sectoral projects). Mentees participate in a four-step learning programme and are supported by mentors through the development of their projects.
PROSPECT+ is implemented by a consortium of eleven partners, coordinated by the Institute for European Energy and Climate Policy (IEECP). The consortium partners include city networks and regions as well as agencies which act as mentors in the training programme. adelphi supports the assessment of the finance readiness of participants’ projects and provides tailor-made advice to mentees to successfully finance and implement their projects. Moreover, adelphi is working on the development of a tool to assess the financial readiness of sustainable energy projects. adelphi is also involved in the engagement of participants and matching of mentors and mentees, bringing its financial expertise to update the application process. Finally, adelphi supports the organisation of training sessions within the capacity building programme as well as of matchmaking events with financial institutions and potential investors for the mentee’s projects.