Bio-Sol-ESCo

Biomass and solar heat contracting in public and private buildings

Duration: 2008 – 2011 ● Client: European Commission (IEE) ● WIP Expertise: Financing, Market uptake ● www.biosolesco.org

Investments in energy efficiency measures and the replacement of old and inefficient heating systems by modern and renewable systems offer great opportunities to reduce energy consumption in general and to increase the share of renewable energies in the heat sector. With a view to European targets for 2020, these opportunities are currently not used sufficiently.

Lacking funds, especially in the public sector, are hindering these investments. ESCos (energy service companies) or contracting schemes provide a promising tool to facilitate investments in energy efficiency and renewable heat technologies. ESCos deliver energy services and/or energy efficiency improvement measures in a user´s facility, and accept some degree of financial risk in doing so. The payment for the services delivered is based (either wholly or in part) on the achievement of energy efficiency improvements and on the meeting of agreed performance criteria.

The overall aim of the Bio-Sol-ESCo project is to promote the implementation of biomass and solar ESCO schemes. This is done in two project phases.

In phase I, ESCO markets in 28 European countries, including the contractual, organizational and financial schemes applied, were analyzed and described.

In phase II, exemplary ESCO projects utilizing biomass and solar heat technologies are initiated. Potential ESCO customers (e.g. municipalities) are supported through the preparation of feasibility studies and led through the tendering procedures and contract negotiations. The whole process is documented and will be published in order to provide guidance to other potential customers.

Project results are presented at the project website. Among others, the following items can be found:

  • A report on European ESCo markets showing opportunities and analyzing frameworks and barriers to further market development;
    Comprehensive databases on relevant market actors (especially ESCos) in several European countries;
  • A database showing existing biomass and solar heat ESCo projects;
  • Detailed descriptions of best practice projects;
  • A financial tool allowing for a first economic assessment of heat contracting options;
  • Further guidance for potential customers on implementing ESCo projects.