ELENA is a joint initiative by the EIB and the European Commission under the Horizon 2020 programme.
ELENA provides grants for technical assistance focused on the implementation of energy efficiency, distributed renewable energy and urban transport projects and programmes.
The grant can be used to finance costs related to feasibility and market studies, programme structuring, business plans, energy audits and financial structuring, as well as to the preparation of tendering procedures, contractual arrangements and project implementation units.
Typically, ELENA supports programmes above EUR 30 million with a 3-year implementation period for energy efficiency and 4-year for urban transport and mobility, and can cover up to 90% of technical assistance/project development costs. Smaller projects can be supported when they are integrated into larger investment programmes.
The annual grant budget is currently around EUR 30 million. Projects are evaluated and grants allocated on a first-come-first-served basis.
ELENA may co-finance investment programmes in the following fields:
Energy efficiency and distributed renewable energy
-public and private buildings (including social housing), commercial and logistic properties and sites, and street and traffic lighting to support increased energy efficiency
-integration of renewable energy sources (RES) into the built environment – e.g. solar photovoltaic (PV) on roof tops, solar thermal collectors and biomass
-investments into renovating, extending or building new district heating/cooling networks, including networks based on combined heat and power (CHP), decentralised CHP systems
-local infrastructure including smart grids, information and communication technology
-infrastructure for energy efficiency, energy-efficient urban equipment and link with transport
Urban transport and mobility
-investments to support the use and integration of innovative solutions for alternative fuels in urban mobility
-investments to introduce on a large-scale new, more energy-efficient transport and mobility measures in urban areas including passenger transport, freight transport, etc
Energy Cities created a study focused on how ELENA can help unlock investment in cities. The study found that ELENA can be beneficial to trigger investment for climate action in cities by providing the necessary push for cities and local authorities to change the way they plan their investments, and develop projects to achieve their climate objectives.