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€70m Irish energy efficiency investment fund unveiled



The Irish government has announced it will work with leading investment manager Sustainable Development Capital (SDCL) to launch a new €70m (£57.2m) fund for energy-saving initiatives.

It is hoped that the National Energy Efficiency Fund will lead to a new wave of energy efficiency projects in the Irish market, creating jobs and economic activity while cutting national carbon emissions from energy generation.

SDCL will serve as investment adviser to the fund, which has raised an initial €35m (£28.6m). The Irish government provided €17.2m (£14m), with the rest sourced from the private sector; London & Regional Properties contributing €12.8m (£10.5m) and Glen Dimplex Group €5m (£4m). 

SDCL says as much as €300m (£245m) leveraged funding will be delivered over the next three years, based on a fund size of €70m.

“There is pent up demand in the market for investment in energy efficiency projects but this has been inhibited by a lack of funding from conventional sources”, said Jonathan Maxwell, co-founder and CEO of SDCL.

“The fund is taking an innovative approach by basing its investment return on the energy cost savings expected to be achieved by projects.” 

He added, “Improving energy efficiency not only delivers cost savings but frees up capital for other operational activities, allows for future-proofing against possible energy price increases, increases resilience and can improve asset values.” 

The first company to benefit from the fund will be Tesco Ireland, who in a €2m (£1.6m) deal will retrofit seven of its stores to cut energy consumption, with a follow-on funding commitment for a further 40 stores.

The firm said the initiative will save it €540,000 (£441,000) a year on energy bills. 

“Working with Irish technology companies, promoting local employment in energy efficiency and, unlocking energy saving will help us better support the communities we operate in”, said Tesco Ireland finance director Adrian Lewis. 

Photo: Tristan Benninghofen via Flickr

Further reading:

Social investment fund reveals support packages for 10 energy entrepreneurs

Just three EU countries on track to meet energy efficiency targets

Green Investment Bank pledge £50m funding for energy efficiency

Why energy saving, cutting bills and reducing carbon footprint will stay centre stage

Cleantech venture investment at $6.8bn in 2013, led by energy efficiency