This project (612408-EPP-1-2019-1-EPPKA2-KA) has been funded with support from the European Commission. This web site reflects the views only of the author, and the Commission cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein.

This project (612408-EPP-1-2019-1-EPPKA2-KA) has been funded with support from the European Commission. This web site reflects the views only of the author, and the Commission cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein.

GrEnFIn
/GrEnFIn Description

The GrEnFIn project aims to provide the Energy Sector's stakeholders the figure of the Sustainable Energy experts professional.

/GrEnFIn Consortium

The project involves 14 partners representing 9 European countries and Brasil. Contact the transnational coordinators to participate GrEnFIn project.

/Project Meetings

This section provides the access to the information about the transnational meetings and to all related documents of GrEnFIn project.

Academic EP

GrEnFIn stands for greening energy by promoting the transition to renewable energy sources, thus decarbonizing the EU economy, and the instruments to finance it, accounting for risk, returns and impacts. In line with the key elements of the Innovation Union, the key objectives of EU2030 strategy and the Modernisation Agenda objectives, the project has the aim of promoting high-level professionality and employability in the green energy sector through investment in knowledge and competences.

Professional Modules

The GrEnFIn Alliance intends to shape a new Sustainable Energy Expert, through a Joint Study Programme targeted to HE students and a Professional Module targeted to personnel actually operating in the energy job market. The enterprises will play a central role as a constant link to energy market needs for a sustainable growth of the economy, in identifying the expected learning outcomes, the key competences and skills of the professional figures to develop in order to meet those specific needs of the job market.

Summer School

Students will learn how to integrate in the energy investment strategies considerations on climate-related risks and opportunities based on new climate stress-test methodologies that allow to account for both the exposure of the energy investments to climate risks (and thus the potential losses due to carbon stranded assets) at the plant level, and the opportunities for impact on climate action (i.e. climate migration, via improved energy efficiency and emission reduction from energy and electricity production).

Summer Training

Professionals/managers attending the training experience will be awarded a certificate, with the logo of the issuing institutions, describing the skills and competences acquired. Administrative staffs will be consulted in order to call for a compliance to the ECVET policy.

Full Immersion Experience

The full-immersion experience for students and professional is the space in which exchanges between future and actual energy professionals take place. They implement new pedagogical methodologies characterized by a close collaboration between HEIs and enterprises that will build up a synergy between public and private entities (energy business experts and researchers) able to promote exchanges and networking, with the aim to develop new alliances for the potential enlargement of the consortium.

The GrEnFIn Project

GrEnFIn Erasmus+/Knowledge Alliance project aims to provide the Energy Sector’s stakeholders (energy providers, private companies, research institutes,…) the figure of the Sustainable Energy experts professional, i.e. European high skilled professionals capable to face the changing challenges in the field with an inclusive global logic. Its main expected results are the development of an innovative Joint Master Degree in the Green Energy and Finance targeting young students, but also a Professional Module to train companies’ staff and experts already active in the labor market.

Latest News

Quantitative Easing and green/brown Sector Bias
24/09/2021

Quantitative Easing and green/brown Sector Bias

Why is a green monetary policy required? Green monetary policies are emerging in the aftermath of climate change. Other than altering the equilibrium of the environment, the scientific community suggests that climate change is a threat to financial stability because it affects the functioning of the real economy. Private and public investments in carbon-intensive activities appear to contribute to the damaging effects on the environment of human activity. The transition towards a low-carbon economy passes through a massive intervention of climate policies, rather than through pure market-based solutions.

 

In recent years, Quantitative Easing (QE) as an unconventional tool of monetary policy gained importance due to the low-inflation rates regime. The Market Operations Committee (MOC) at the European Central Bank launched the Public Sector Purchase Programme (PSPP) in 2015 that is dedicated to buy government bonds and bonds issued by institutions owned by the government. The ECB can thus operate green investments by purchasing green bonds (3,5% of its portfolio pre Covid-19 pandemic) in the attempt to mitigate climate change. However, the ability of the ECB to prefer green bonds over brown is limited due to the market neutrality principle - one of the pillars of European monetary policy. The principle implies a limited impact of the purchase programs on the asset prices. This can be achieved by buying bonds proportional to their quantity outstanding and consequently keeping the relative prices among assets constant. Such market neutrality principle can discriminate among sectors based on the quantity of bonds issued by each sector.

Successively, in June 2016, the ECB launched the Corporate Sector Purchase Programme (CSPP), aimed at further buying bonds issued by the private sectors. The total holdings of the ECB portfolio of the corporate bonds due to the CSPP has a market capitalization of 281 billion Euros as per the end of June 2021. This programme raised concerns regarding its distributional impact among different sectors. Corporations have different means of financing their activities as loans, corporate bonds, and equity. For instance, companies in the services sector are greener and they depend mainly for financing their activities on loans and equity, rather than by issuing corporate bonds. This is an example of a bias towards brown sectors, since the asset purchase programmes follow the market neutrality policy.

The importance of unconventional monetary policy tools after the pandemic and a consistency in low-inflation rate regime raises a need of adapting these tools to be green. Market neutrality policy can have a stabilizing impact on asset relative prices. Nevertheless, the long run benefits of price stability due to the adoption of an environmentally friendly monetary policy can outweigh the short run benefits of market neutrality policy.


The Sustainable Energy Expert and the Public Discourse
24/09/2021

The Sustainable Energy Expert and the Public Discourse

As key actors of the climate transition, sustainable energy experts can all but avoid facing in their duty difficult situations linked to their role of propelling a major societal change. This hurdle stems from the evergreen polarisation of climate change discussion and the economic importance of the energy sector. It can materialize as misinformation or direct opposition. These difficulties emphasize the need for a strong training of experts; the financial decision-making and technical assessment that they must carry takes place in an informational environment that is itself very polluted.

Notably, the sustainable energy expert needs to steer through lobbying efforts that are carried at different levels. A first dimension of this is the contribution to the political discourse at the national, European and global levels. Concepts such as the perimeter of what is green are regularly challenged, to be enlarged beyond reasonable for economic purposes, while in other places the move to sustainable energy is slowed down by non-renewable but self-branded “transition” energy sectors.

Beyond the political level, acceptance by the general population and academic rigour can also prove deficient and require the expert to master a number of resources to engage with concerns. A particularly telling example of such challenges in the public discourse is that of the resource efficiency of solar energy. On the public opinion side, a documentary by Michael Moore released in early 2020 makes the claim that solar panel cannot compensate in use for the resources they require. In spite of being swiftly debunked, with a backing of a Nature study, damages done to a broad audience are not easily reversed, and Brandolini's law applies: the effort made to debunk falsehoods are larger than that of producing them.

What can be even more challenging for the expert is that controversies can extend to the academic dimension as well. Although the practice of diluting the research consensus is more common in other industries, renewable energies are not spared from it. Thus, on the same topic, a considerable literature is dedicated to the estimation of the energy return on energy invested (EROI) of solar technologies. A EROI value above 1 denotes a net energy gain, and a minimum between 3 and 5 is required for a technology to be competitive. In 2016, a study by two Switzerland-based consultants concluded to a value below one, using an extended concept of EROI and going against most of the previous literature. A response authored by 22 academics then disputed the results, pointing out flaws in the data and methodology to conclude to a value an order of magnitude higher. Earlier, a 2013 paper had concluded that PV and wind power where markedly less efficient than other technologies. Similarly, the response to it pointed a range of errors that would significantly affect the results.

Thus, it is important for the sustainable energy experts to develop the ability to navigate in a complicated informational environment. The task is challenging, as the evolution of the technology is also fast, and the use of data from a few years back can sometime induce significant biases. In particular, the knowledge and understanding of the underlying technologies are important for the decision making, in order to for them to evaluate the available data and produce a valuable guidance.


Polish Companies (eagle) on the Green Path
24/09/2021

Polish Companies (eagle) on the Green Path

PKN Orlen, a leading player on the fuels and energy markets, has issued a 7-year green bonds worth EUR 500 million. The proceeds will be used to finance or refinance the company's green projects.

The bonds, which have been assessed by the Climate Bonds Initiative and received a green certificate (the first of its kind for a benchmark issue by a non-financial company in the CEE region), will be listed on Euronext Dublin and the regulated market of the Warsaw Stock Exchange.

Although the total value of the offered securities was 500 million euros, the demand for bonds reached more than 3 billion euros, with the first 1 billion euros of subscriptions collected in less than an hour and a half after the start of the subscription. During the subscription process, PKN Orlen reduced the yield of the offered securities twice, from the original level of 160-165 basis points (bp) above the euro swap curve, through 135-140 bp, to final level of 125 bp above the euro swap curve. As a result the offered yield is the lowest in the company's history.

The issue was devoted into international market and was mostly subscribed by foreign investors. Finally, green bonds were allocated among 182 investors from 26 countries, with the largest share of 44% held by investors from Central Europe (Germany, Austria and Switzerland), and Poland - 23%. Many international asset management funds participated in the issue, including a large group of green ones. As much as 62% of bonds went to funds focused on investing in green assets (green investors).

Funds raised from the issue will be used to finance green projects implemented by Orlen Group in the construction and acquisition of new production capacity of renewable energy sources, further development of a network of fast chargers for electric cars and fueling infrastructure for buses and hydrogen vehicles, as well as the development of waste recycling facilities.


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