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.

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.


International community towards ambitious goals
24/09/2021

International community towards ambitious goals

On 22 and 23 July, the G20 Ministerial meetings under the Italian Presidency were held in Naples with the aim of strengthening the partnership to solve the problems of climate change.

The key topics of the two days discussion between ministers, diplomats and delegations of technicians included: combating climate change, accelerating the ecological transition, making financial flows in line with the Paris Agreement objectives, opportunities for sustainable and inclusive recovery through innovative technological solutions of the energy sector, and building smart, resilient and sustainable cities.

The Meeting resulted in the approval of joint energy and climate communiqué based on three macro areas:

  • Biodiversity (protecting natural capital, restoring ecosystems, restoring soil, protecting water resources, preventing and reducing marine plastic litter).
  • Resource efficiency and circular economy (G20 vision on circular economy with an emphasis on sustainable textiles and fashion, circular cities, education and training).
  • Sustainable finance (focusing on specific financing needs to protect and restore ecosystems as a contribution to the G20 work on the future shape of the global financial system.).

The joint communiqué also acknowledges, for the first time at the G20 level, the inextricable link between energy production, greenhouse gas emissions and climate change. The G20 recognized the fact that the impacts of climate change will be much lower in the context of a global temperature rise not exceeding 1.5° C than in that of a 2° C increase, as affirmed in the “Global Warming of 1.5° C” IPCC Special Report”. Based on this finding, the Members of the G20 decided to accelerate action to keep this 1.5° C limit on the rise of global temperatures within reach during the critical decade of the 2020s.

A Presidency Statement, attached to the communiqué, highlighted the need to accelerate decarbonization over the next decade by phasing out unabated coal, and the need to stop international public financing of unabated coal power generation and phase out inefficient fossil fuel subsidies within a certain date.


Increase in Energy Price and the Implication of Renewable Energy
24/09/2021

Increase in Energy Price and the Implication of Renewable Energy

In recent months In recent months, demand for electricity in the Portuguese market has increased due to high temperatures and renewable electricity, mainly generated from wind and solar energy, which has not been sufficient to meet consumption levels. To meet demand, gas was needed to gas gas turbine combined cycle plants throughout the Iberian Peninsula, which sharply triggered the price of electricity.

This is mainly due to the increase in the price of natural gas, and in another, also revealing portion, of the associated carbontax, which already exceeds EUR 50 per tonne.

The trend is for price increases to continue. On the other hand, the cost and price of electricity associated with the production of CO2 emissions are higher from a financial and environmental point of view, and so it is crucial to continue to intensify the focus on renewables, in line with the provisions of the Roadmap for Carbon Neutrality, which Portugal proposes to achieve in 2050.

The price of electricity comes from costs related to the production and sale of electricity, transport and distribution networks, and the commercialization of electricity. The impact of renewable sources positively influences the market price of electricity traded on the Iberian Market due to its low marginal cost, contributing to keeping prices low in the wholesale electricity market and, consequently, reducing the electricity bill of citizens. Between 2016 and 2020, renewables allowed a cumulative savings of EUR 6.1 billion.

In this way, collective  self-consumption and renewable energy communities (REC) are   enabling a greater   stabilization of energy prices in the wholesale electricity market, and it is an excellent opportunity to counter act on fluctuations in electricity prices on the market.

REC and the collective self-consumption are allowing the democratization of energy, enabling self-consumption   as well as the sale of thesurplus energy produced fromthe proximity perspective. As the name implies, the community allows the establishment of an agreement between consumers who are "close to the producers who sells the surplus energy produced. RECs promote a better public acceptance of renewable energy projects, as they create opportunities and benefits for participants by promoting increasing energy efficiency in homes, and, consequently, reducing the electricity bill by reducing direct consumption of the public service electricity network (RESP).

RECs have completely altered the energy sector, thus corresponding to another safe and cost-effective renewable electricity supply solution, in addition to inserting the possibility of ensuring and providing flexibility services, essential to the new paradigm of integrated energy system. Through flexible load management and control of generation and storage units, REC's can offer flexibility value, allowing their load or generation profiles to be purposely changed to offer system services. Demand-side flexibility-related activities complement the benefits of RECs and increase their economic potential for members, while also contributing to increased resilience of the energy system.


Electricity Crisis in Spain. Is there anything good from it?
24/09/2021

Electricity Crisis in Spain. Is there anything good from it?

During the last few months electricity prices in the Spanish spot market (day-ahead and intra-day market) has skyrocketed, moreover since last May when it has gone from 67 €/MWh up to 106 €/MWh in August. In September daily prices have been setting new record after new record, with prices no lower than 127 €/MWh and the highest price so far over 188€/MWh.

Last year, mostly due to COVID-19 restrictions, the average price was 34€/MWh and since 2009 the average price was around 40-50 €/MWh, so what happened during 2021? There are several reasons behind these prices but reports(1)[i]estimated that the main reasons are the rise in the natural gas prices (50%) and the increase of the price of CO2 emissions in Europe (20%).

The EU is gas dependant from other countries as Russia and has implemented the emissions trading system (ETS) to promote the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions, for that reason both factors cannot be changed by Spain. Then what can be done to limit this trend and reduce electricity prices?

Short term only changing taxes and fees can reduce the cost of electricity for the users but in the future, Spain must continue to increase the number of renewable energies sources (RES). The only positive about this crisis is that is making very attractive the Power Purchase Agreements (PPA) for renewable sources which allow the building of new RES plants while assuring a proper return of investment.

Also, Spain has issued this September its first auction for green bonds with a volume of 5.000M€ with the aim at financing projects with environmental purposes. Nevertheless, this auction hasn’t decreased the interest on the PPA, being Spain responsible of around a third of the total PPs signed in 12 European countries last year, according to the European platform Re-Source.

This funding and risk hedging mechanisms will help containing the electricity prices in the near future and will help to achieve the environmental goals for 2030.

 


Fifth Online Partners' Meeting – 20 - 21 July 2021
21/07/2021

Fifth Online Partners' Meeting – 20 - 21 July 2021

The Fifth Virtual Project meeting of GrEnFIn that was supposed to be held in Poland, but it was instead organized virtually (because of COVID-19) on Microsoft TEAMS. The Agenda was planned in 2 days in total, 3 hours each. The meeting took place on 20th and 21st of July, 2:30 PM – 5:30 PM (Brussels Time). During the first day we had the chance to discuss, all the aspects related to the experiences of the Second Summer School (WP3) and First Summer Training (WP7) and the related evaluation results together with the presentation of the design of the GrEnFIn Joint Master Degree; while the second day the sessions covered topics related to WP2 and WP4 validation activities that will be organized in the next few months, the financial and quality intermediate report submitted to EACEA, with an overview of external evaluation presented by WU.


GrEnFIn Local Workshop - Universite' Paris Dauphine and Birkbeck, University of London
23/06/2021

GrEnFIn Local Workshop - Universite' Paris Dauphine and Birkbeck, University of London

Universite' Paris Dauphine and Birkbeck, University of London are happy to invite students and professors to the GrEnFIn Local Workshop. The objective of the Workshop is to discuss a new Master in Greening Energy Finance which will lead to industry, financial institutions and Regulators' positions. We will discuss how the Master will be implemented, the course structure and possible modules to be included in order to shape future students into Sustainable Energy Experts.
 
Students and Professors interested in the conversation are welcome to join the round table on Teams on June 29th 2020 at 10AM (Brussels Time GMT+1).
 
The speakers:
       Rene Aid, Universite' Paris-Dauphine
       Sophie Meritet, Universite' Paris-Dauphine
       Martine Carre-Tallon, Universite' Paris-Dauphine 
 
Guest speaker:
       Helyette Geman, Birkbeck, University of London
 
To join, scan the QR code or click on the event banner at https://grenfin.eu/index.php  

From Crude Oil to Renewables:When the Wind is Blowing across Oil Giant
07/04/2021

From Crude Oil to Renewables:When the Wind is Blowing across Oil Giant

Renewable energy continues to grow fast in the US despite Covid 19. In a remarkable move, the market capitalization of NextEra Energy, the world’s largest producer of wind and solar energy, passed in December 2020 (at more than $145 billion) the one of Exxon Mobil, the oil giant which used to be the ‘Standard Oil’ created by John Rockefeller in 1870 and became ‘Exxon’ in 1972 before merging its operations with Mobil in 1999. Together with the negative prices reached by the WTI crude oil in April 2020, this is the evidence that a page of history is turned for the oil giants and a New Era is indeed taking place.

British Petroleum (BP), the UK-based company which greatly operates in the US and has turned involved in greener activities after the ecological disaster of Deepwater Horizon, the oil platform in the US part of the Gulf of Mexico and the deepest drilled oil field is making its first move into offshore wind via a partnership with Norway-based Equinor (the former Statoil). BP is paying Equinor $1.1 billion for a 50% stake in wind farms Equinor is developing off the coasts of New York and Massachusetts. The projects represent a combined generating capacity of 4.4 Gigawatts, enough to power more than 2 million homes. BP says it hopes to develop 50 Gigawatts of renewable energy capacity by 2030, which is 20 times its 2019 level.


Driving the news in the financial world is the arrival at BlackRock, the world’s largest asset management fund, of Paul Bodnar - a climate finance veteran and founder of the clean energy think tank ‘Center for Climate-Aligned Finance”- as Head of Sustainable Investing. According to Blackrock, Bodnar will lead "sustainable research, analytics, product development, and integration of Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) considerations into the investment process," and help clients achieve ‘net zero emissions’.


Lastly, it is worth mentioning the book by Bill Gates ‘How to avoid a climate disaster’. The author proposes to analyze in a systematic manner the difference in cost between a fossil fuel – based activity and the same clean one: the premium to pay for being green in in electricity production, manufacturing, and heating. He observes that for cement and steel production as well as the airline industry, clean options at a low price are not presently available while clean versions of bunker fuel for cargoes would be three times more expensive. This analysis would give countries and industries some guidance on the way forward.


Economic modelling and the constraints on green energy growth
05/04/2021

Economic modelling and the constraints on green energy growth

As macro-level modelling has become a key tool in guiding climate policies, the manner of representing the green energy sector is ultimately of importance for the way we support it. In particular, the development of green energies happens in a context that can be uneasy for economists where multiple market failures exist. If the financing of the green energy sector is not properly accounted for, with the different obstacles that exist to it, there is a risk that policies adopted are suboptimal.

A strand of studies assume that the green energy sector can develop optimally with regard to essentially one variable, which is the carbon price, or the social cost of carbon (SCC). The exercise consists then in estimating the mapping from the carbon price set to the corresponding energy mix. Moreover, existing scenarios vary in assumptions regarding the technology evolution of the green energy producers, as well as that of the carbon dioxide removal sector.

However, the primary use of the SCC shouldn’t mask the fact that many other conditions need to be met. Some of these challenges are addressed in recent iterations of the EIRIN model, whereby the green energy sector is represented on its own, independently from its brown counterpart. This allows for considering the more specific financing needs and potential constraints that the sector faces, as well as its competitive interaction with traditional energy providers.

Uncertainty and risk are central aspects to address in the design of transition policies, as they can shift the optimal path to take for the economy, and they are especially pervasive in the financial market dynamics. Thus, a better integration of the green energy sector along this dimension can provide a more exhaustive views of conditions that have to be met to achieve a cleaner energy mix.

Finally, in practice, the ability of the green energy sector to scale up optimally depends on its ability to take advantage of policies in place and available funding mechanisms for green projects. There again the figure of the sustainable energy expert is key, to leverage on the understanding of financing constraints and green financial products, so as to minimize operational risk and devise the most efficient growth paths for green energy


Programming, Numerical Methods, Financial Models and Risk Management - so why is that relevant in GrEnFin?
01/04/2021

Programming, Numerical Methods, Financial Models and Risk Management - so why is that relevant in GrEnFin?

In computational finance, state-of-the-art numerical methods and computer methods are adopted to put a financial model into work. Methods like Monte-Carlo simulation, regression and machine learning are universal tools to simulate scenarios and access risks - one may use them for mathematical finance and climate models alike. Learning the numerical methods in finance gives one the tools needed to tackle climate models too.

But do we need financial modelling at all? Maybe you remember the fun question: "How much wealth would you have if you would have put $ 1 in a savings account 2000 years ago?" Investing at 1.5%, we would - theoretically - arrive at 8.6 trillion dollars! This behaviour reflects the time value of money - rational investors prefer to receive money today rather than the same amount of money in the future. It appears as if a small value today corresponds to a large value in the future, or, equivalently, a large value in the future corresponds to a small value today.
Such exponential growth is inherent to many simple financial models, used to value liabilities or future projects' costs and benefits.

However, what if we want to assess the impact of possible future damages? Think, for example, of the destruction caused by climatic calamities like hurricanes or floods in a given area. The probability of such extreme events has increased and will further increase due to climate change, and it is important to estimate the damage they would cause. Having in mind the idea of the time value of money described above, one could be tempted to discount the damage accordingly.
This discounting has, of course, a huge impact if we think about events in a quite far future, like twenty to hundred years: huge costs in the future appear to become small costs, and hence of a lower priority, today.

A consequence of this can be that one hazardously underestimates the priority to prevent future damages.
This is a dangerous misconception: while the valuation of a liability in the previously discussed form is well-grounded, it cannot be applied to access the priorities to fix or prevent future damages.

In [1], we try to tackle this problem by introducing a non-linear discounting for future damages. The so-called "discount factors" are different here, such that preventing environmental damages has a much higher priority.

This is an example of how an accurate understanding of mathematical finance is essential to comparing and understanding future scenarios.

Welcome to computational and mathematical finance.

 

[1] Christian Fries Discounting Damage:Non-Linear Discounting and Default Compensation, Preprint, 2021

 


Green Hydrogen Economy - The Portuguese case
29/03/2021

Green Hydrogen Economy - The Portuguese case

 

Within the scope of the Roadmap for Carbon Neutrality 2050 and, more specifically, at the level of the National Energy and Climate Plan 2030, the entry of Hydrogen into the Portuguese energy system is an inescapable fact.

The contribution of Green Hydrogen to the energy transition stands out in the possibility of being a complement to the electrification of consumption in general. It should be noted that the role of electrification in terms of mobility, air conditioning or industrial and transport processes is very significant, which is why green Hydrogen may play an important role in terms of the production and efficient allocation of energy resources.

So the question arises, what will the financial and economic plan be like to boost Green Hydrogen in the energy market?

Taking into account the Earlier national and international policies, it is evident that the Green Hydrogen market will be characterized by a demand induced by the offer ( "supplier-induced demand"), where national policies will have a very significant importance to induce producers and consumers to substitute brown energies for green energies that, directly or indirectly, are associated with carbon emissions.

These National policies and incentives should allow:

  • Amortize the high capital costs, especially those associated with the production infrastructure, electrolysers and the rest of the system.
  • Accelerate the project's profitability ratios and, as well, the maturity of production methods and technologies.

Considering the information available, the Portuguese model will be characterized by a mixture of direct support with the imposition of some taxes and other obligations, which will gradually increase the cost of the marginal carbon unit - auctions.


The Green Hydrogen auction may follow the molds that, today, are already applied to the solar auction by, for example, the allocation of amounts per batch and limiting the maximum capacity that a single bidder can win.


Do you want to learn more about Green projects risks, returns and investments impacts? GrEnFIn is the project to follow: GrEnFIn - 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.

 

 

 


Italy entered the market of sovereign green bonds
25/03/2021

Italy entered the market of sovereign green bonds

 

 

On February 25, 2021, the Italian Ministry of Economy and Finance has published the “Framework for the issuance of Sovereign Green Bonds”, according to which the first BTP Green will be issued. BTP Green is the new Italian government bond designed to support the environmental goals and the overall sustainability strategy of the Republic of Italy.

The BTP Green bond, maturing on the 30th April 2045 with an accrual date 30th of October 2020, has a 1.50% annual coupon, paid on a semi-annual basis. The settlement date of the transaction was set for the 10th of March, 2021. Around 530 investors have taken part in the transaction with a total amount requested of above 80 billion Euros, the biggest debut sovereign green bond from a European issuer to date.

The transition to a climate-neutral economy by 2050 means transforming its energy and transport infrastructure together with the need for a substantial investment in its stock of existing buildings and its industry. Neither the public nor the private sector can meet this investment challenge alone. Therefore, to achieve these common objectives, large volumes of sustainable finance will need to be mobilized by the public and private sectors working together more closely than ever. This is a key rationale for launching BTP Green.

Through the issue of Sovereign Green Bonds, Italy will finance public expenditures intended to contribute to the achievement of one or more of the following environmental objectives of the EU Sustainable Finance Taxonomy:

  1. Climate change mitigation;
  2. Climate change adaptation;
  3. Sustainable use and protection of water and marine resources;
  4. Transition to a circular economy;
  5. Pollution prevention and control;
  6. Protection and restoration of biodiversity and ecosystems.

Moreover, the use of proceeds will help Italy support the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals of the United Nations.


Just Transition Development Plan of Greek regions in the post-lignite era
22/03/2021

Just Transition Development Plan of Greek regions in the post-lignite era

The Greek government is committed to the withdrawal of lignite power plants located in areas of the region of Western Macedonia (6 units of 4,438 MW) and the Municipality of Megalopolis in the Peloponnese region (2 units of 850 MW) by 2028 and for this reason “The Just Transition Development Plan” of these areas has been prepared, with the aim of creating strategic development opportunities for the regeneration of local economies, securing jobs and creating new ones.

According to the plan (November 2020), which is a complete road map, the transformation of the areas will be achieved through the development of the primary, secondary and tertiary production sector, and the utilization of the existing human resources. The radical transformation of the economies of the regions through new activities is required, in order to be able to maintain and strengthen the economic and social structure so that the afore mentioned areas become sustainable and inclusive.

The plan is based on five growth pillars (Green - clean energy, Smart farming, Sustainable tourism, Craft - industry - trade, Digital economy and education) which are fully in line with EU policy objectives for smarter, greener, more connected, the most social and close to the citizen Europe.

These five (5) pillars support the transition to a new economic model, which will highlight modern and clean forms of energy, but at the same time will be diversified, releasing the growth perspective of more sectors of the economy supported by the simultaneous improvement of infrastructure and alternative utilization of the areas used by the lignite mines.

The financing of the project will be achieved through increased tax incentives for investments in the regions, as well as the use of resources from the European Just Transition Platform (JTP), the new NSRF, the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development, EU Competitive Programs and national resources (Green Fund, Industrial Areas Development Fee). Land uses for lignite mine sites will also be determined.


GrEnFIn Summer School
17/03/2021

GrEnFIn Summer School

The Summer School is targeted to master students who are interested in green energy and sustainable finance problems. The Summer School will be held between the 7th and the 11th of June 2021 in Katowice, Poland .
For more information please check GrEnFIn Summer School.


GrEnFIn Summer Training
02/03/2021

GrEnFIn Summer Training

The Summer training is a short learning experience of the GrEnFIn Project targeted for professionals: the goal is to test the first draft of professional module in order to implement contents and methodologies. The Summer Training will be held between the 7th and the 9th of June 2021 in Katowice, Poland.
For more information please check GrEnFIn Summer Training.


Fourth Online Partners' Meeting – 14-15 December 2020
17/12/2020

Fourth Online Partners' Meeting – 14-15 December 2020

The Fourth Virtual Project meeting of GrEnFIn that was supposed to be held in Paris, but it was instead organized virtually (because of COVID-19) through Microsoft TEAMS. The Agenda was planned in 2 days in total, 3 hours each. The meeting took place on 14th and 15th of December, 2.30 PM – 5.30 PM (Brussels Time). During the first day of the meeting partners discussed the aspects related to the WP3, WP4 and WP6 with a focus on the design of the professional module and the feasibility of the Multiple or Joint Degree course; while the second day the sessions covered topics related to the financial and interim report, with an overview of the internal and external evaluation coming from the WU partner. As usual, the last session has been entirely dedicated to list what will happen in the coming 6 months with tasks for each partner.


GrEnFIn - Umbrella Organization Meeting
10/11/2020

GrEnFIn - Umbrella Organization Meeting

Partecipa al primo Umbrella Organization Meeting del progetto internazionale GrEnFIn: Greening Energy Market and Finance, finalizzato a sviluppare programmi formativi in materia di Green Energy Finance che forniscano le competenze professionali del Sustainable Energy Manager, figura ritenuta rilevante per supportare la transizione verso un’economia più sostenibile.

 

L'evento online si terrà il 17 ottobre dalle ore 10.30 alle ore 12.30.

 

L’obiettivo dell’incontro è, da una parte, condividere i tratti salienti del progetto, con particolare riferimento al modulo relativo alla progettazione della formazione professionale, dall’altra, approfondire alcune tematiche tecniche di contesto, a cura di alcuni Associate Partner del progetto.

Alla fine del meeting è previsto un momento aperto al confronto per raccogliere feedback dal mondo professional utili alle fasi successive del progetto.

Per confermare la presenza all’evento e ricevere maggiori informazioni vi preghiamo di contattarci all’indirizzo info@grenfin.eu.

 

GOOGLE MEET LINK per partecipare alla conferenza: https://meet.google.com/vuq-usds-moi

 

L'agenda dell'evento:

10,30 – Prof. Silvia Romagnoli, UNIBO - Ugo Canonico e Daniela Bottega, Hera

Presentazione Progetto GrEnFIn: prospettive accademiche e professionali

11,00 - Luca Bartolucci, Prometeia

Climate change risk: le principali sfide per le Banche e spunti per impostare le analisi di impatto

11,30 – Davide Tabanelli, Nomisma Energia

Emission Trading System competitività Sistema industriale italiano

12,00Gaëlle Ridolfi, Hera

L’applicazione del framework Sustainable Development Goals nel Gruppo Hera -

12,30 - Q&A e attività di validazione 


Kick in greening the world with us
09/10/2020

Kick in greening the world with us

GOOGLE MEET LINK to join the conference: https://meet.google.com/ugv-vvtf-dfu

Join a conference with testimonials dedicated to an emergent and new professional profile, the Sustainable Energy Expert, able to assess the risks of the sector due to the exposure to fossil fuels resources, and to identify effective strategies for decarbonization by looking at the characteristics of the green energy market and new financial instruments to finance the transition.  

The online event will take place on October 15th at 10.30 am. The session will be interest to students, academics and professionals working, studying or researching within the green energy sector. The event is organized to present the Erasmus+ KA2 Knowledge Alliances project (N. 612408) GrEnFIn: Green Energy Market and Finance, originates from the analysis of the role of the energy sector in the EU2030 strategy and its need to align to the low-carbon energy transition and circular economy goals of the European Union (EU).

The event agenda:

10.30 – 11.00 AM

  • Prof. Silvia Romagnoli - GrEnFIn Project Overview
  • Giacomo Maria Bressan - From the stakeholders' consultation to the first Summer School

11.00 – 11.30 AM

  • Testimonies by students, professionals and lecturers that participates to the first SUMMER SCHOOL
  • Open Discussion and QeA

Carbon Neutral 2050: All Abord!
01/10/2020

Carbon Neutral 2050: All Abord!

Carbon Neutral 2050: All Abord!

On May 21, 2020, the Portuguese National Energy and Climate Plan (PNEC2030) was approved establishing the objectives of the national climate and energy policy meeting what was defined by the Green deal.

The Energy and Climate Plan establishes:

  • New national targets for reducing greenhouse gas emissions (including sectoral targets),
  • Targets for energy efficiency and the incorporation of renewable energy,
  • As well as including lines of action and measures to be adopted for decarbonization in articulation with the Roadmap for Carbon Neutrality 2050.


The energy efficiency and the zero emissions buildings goals can be reach by betting on the efficient use of resources and the rehabilitation and renovation of the building; reducing  the consumption of primary energy in various sectors, such as public administration, industry and buildings.

In terms of renewables, the Plan invests in energy from renewable sources by doubling the solar capacity (promoted through auctions for the allocation of reception capacity in the Electricity Network); betting on the production and incorporation of renewable gases (hydrogen) and increasing wind production.

Another of the objectives included in the Plan is the development of an innovative and competitive industry, which will be achieved with decarbonization, digitalization and circularity.

To help all the sectors to achieve these ambitious national objects there will be need Energy specialists with knowledge not only in the technical field but also in the financial and sustainability fields.

GrEnFIn can and will help all the professional and students to be the Energy Specialist that each sector will need to achieve this energy transition plan.


European Green Deal, last chance for the planet and the EU?
30/09/2020

European Green Deal, last chance for the planet and the EU?

We are living strange and agitated times, just when Brexit and the migration crisis threatened the identity of the EU, COVID-19 has struck harshly all countries and citizens and turn our lives into this 'new normality'. It is widely accepted that the environmental degradation is related to the origin of this and future pandemics so our focus should shift to prevent climate change and adopt a planetary health approach in our activities.

The EU must turn these challenges into opportunities to transform the Union into a modern, resource-efficient and competitive economy, leading the fight against climate change.

For that purpose, the EU has elaborated a plan to make the economy sustainable, the European Green Deal, launched the 11th of December of 2019. The main objectives are:

  • No net emissions of greenhouse gases by 2050
  • Economic growth decoupled from resource use
  • No person and no place left behind

The European Green Deal provides an action plan to

  • boost the efficient use of resources by moving to a clean, circular economy
  • restore biodiversity and cut pollution.

The EU aims to be climate neutral in 2050 and to boost this action, the past 17th of September 2020 the 2030 Climate Target Plan was presented. This plan set a more ambitious and cost-effective path to achieving climate neutrality raising the EU’s ambition on reducing greenhouse gas emissions, from the previously agreed 40% to at least 55% below 1990 levels by 2030.   

This plan will stimulate the creation of green jobs and continue cutting greenhouse emissions whilst growing its economy. At the same time, it will encourage international partners to increase their ambition to limit the rise in global temperature to 1.5°C and avoid the most severe consequences of climate change.

This new regulation frame will require new professionals with not only a technical knowledge but also strong financial and sustainability background. For that reason, new multidisciplinary educational curricula such as the one developed in the GrEnFIn project will be mandatory.


Covid 19 – effects on the Greek energy market
24/09/2020

Covid 19 – effects on the Greek energy market

In addition to the significant economic, social and political implications globally and nationally, the spread of the coronavirus has greatly affected the energy sector in all forms of energy. According to the recent study “Impact of the Coronavirus Crisis on the Greek Energy Market” of IENE – Institute of Energy for South East Europe, the most obvious impact was the sudden and sharp decline in demand leading to a significant decline in prices, especially in the oil sector, but also in the gas sector and secondarily in electricity.

The domestic oil market was significantly affected, especially during the outbreak of the pandemic. Gasoline consumption decreased by 60%, while diesel, mainly due to agricultural crops and increased domestic transport, showed a milder decline of 35% -40%.

Although there was a decline in domestic gas demand, it was rather marginal and did not reach oil levels. There was a significant drop in gas prices (mainly LNG), due to developments in international markets (eg a large drop in the price of crude oil), while there was a large penetration of LNG in the electricity generation of Greece, resulting in 64% of the gas supply in the first half of 2020 to be LNG.

The pandemic crisis led to a significant reduction in the total electricity load of Greece, which was probably due to the fact that commercial consumption decreased with a parallel increase in domestic, without having largely stopped industrial activity. This reduction, along with a fall in CO2 prices, has led to very low energy prices. A number of consumers have had problems paying their bills, creating a liquidity crisis in the market. Significant effects were also felt in the energy-intensive industry, which inevitably affected the financial results of suppliers in the retail sector.

The coronavirus caused cancellations and delays in major RES and energy storage projects. Ongoing RES investments have faced several difficulties due to delays in response from licensing services, restrictions on the movement and residence of their executives and technical staff, delays in equipment delivery schedules, and the rectification of problems in existing projects, among others.

Delays were recorded in renovation and energy upgrade projects of buildings

A positive effect of the coronavirus pandemic was the significant drop in air pollution in Athens, but also in other major cities in Greece.


From an aware worry to a conscious strategy to fight for a greener world
21/09/2020

From an aware worry to a conscious strategy to fight for a greener world

The results of the European Public Survey of November 2018, aimed to collect the public perceptions on climate change and energy in Europe and Russian and showed clear evidence that citizens do worry about energy security beyond affordable supply and generally find dependence on fossil fuels worrisome. Their preferences for electricity produced from renewable sources is clear and has been confirmed by the result of the GrEnFIn Survey of beginning 2020. Besides the new evidences seem to believe that a new professional figure is expected to be pivotal in the green transition. An investment in education is seen as a possible solution to facilitate the opening of a sustainable era.

We recall that GrEnFIn is mainly committed to face the new challenges of a transforming world with an inclusive global view by designing an innovative and interdisciplinary European approach and framework to educate the "hero of the green economy", i.e. the Sustainable Energy Expert, having the pivotal role to assure for a vital economy with an environment-preserving behavior of companies and stakeholders. This way we are expected to contribute to the decarbonizing process of the EU economy through investment in knowledge and competences for either high education and professional training in the Energy Sector which must be aligned to the stakeholders’ needs. The collections of their needs have been realized through a consultation and a consecutive discussion/exposition of the results in the GrEnFIn survey.

Responses clearly show that the energy transition is real and is now. Consequently it is clearly highlighted by respondents that there is a significant need for the professional figure of the Sustainable Energy Expert. Their preferences within Engineering skills are also clear: the most relevant are the ones related to Energy networks, Smart grids and Renewable generation.


The hero of the Green Economy
01/09/2020

The hero of the Green Economy

GrEnFIn curriculum aims to educate the Professional figure of Sustainable Energy Expert by designing an innovative and interdisciplinary European approach and framework which support his pivotal role in the energy transition phase. The design of the educational path aims to fill the gap in the current educational offer and comes from the results of the report of the already existing educational offers and the needs of the stakeholders.

The new course will be innovative in both the contents and the methodologies. The drafted path is multidisciplinary and involves three different tracks, i.e. the technological, the financial and the economical one. As a matter of fact the new professional must be able to face the sustainable challenge of an energy transition and suggest coherent solutions in line with the EU target and the more advanced renewable technologies. Besides the implied natural risk must be managed and hedged through financial engineering products, designed ad hoc.
The innovation in methodologies will be favored by the mixed composition of the faculty which will include academics as well as professionals. As a matter of fact professionals will approach students with a real problems oriented approach enriched by internship experiences, teamworking and soft skills training.

We strongly believe that the joint efforts of Academia and Industry can play a significant role now as well as in the future, supporting the development of a low carbon world. And we are convinced that, by shaping new, young generations of professionals, the GrEnFIn project will contribute to this collaborative journey toward a more sustainable, and ultimately more just, society.


First GrEnFIn Summer School
30/07/2020

First GrEnFIn Summer School

The information about the First GrEnFIn Summer School is now online. Photos, testimony and didactical material of students and lecturers are now available. Despite the Pandemic emergency the Summer School took successfully place, even if we have been forced to held it entirely online. We are glad to say that between the 8th and the 11th of June we had few intense and incredibly satisfying days of work and collaboration between lecturers, students and auditors.


Third Virtual Partners' Meeting
18/06/2020

Third Virtual Partners' Meeting

The Third Virtual Project meeting of GrEnFIn that was supposed to be held in Bologna, was instead took place virtually (because of the circumstances of COVID-19) through the help of Microsoft TEAMS. As you can see the Agenda was planned in 2 days in total, 3 hours each. The meeting took place on 15th and 16th of June, 2.30 PM – 5.30 PM (Brussels Time). The time table is taking as reference the Brussels Time Zone. In order to overcome the Time Zone matter, and make the meeting participation feasible for our Brazilian partner, we planned the schedule of each day between the 2.30 PM and the 5.30 PM (Brussels Time). The meeting sessions were tailored in order to be consistent with the project development stage and make the participation efficient for all the partners even at distance. During the meeting we had the chance to discuss all the aspects related to the First edition of the GrEnFIn Summer School and thanks to the presentation of the HEIs partners, we gave the official start to the WP4 – Pilot Class activities. We recall the Quality assessment process, dedicated a moment for a feedback about the First Progress Report and saw together the next milestones of the Project. Every morning before the Virtual project meeting, we have sent the presentations that were on the Agenda for the day, in order to give all partners the opportunity to get in the topics in advance.


The results of the survey
15/05/2020

The results of the survey

The GrEnFIn stakeholders survey is officially closed and we want to thank all involved stakeholders for their precious collaboration. The analysed results paint an interesting picture of the energy transition, offering regional and sector insights on the challenges and needs of different companies. The overall message, in a nutshell, is that the energy transition is real, is now, and will get more and more relevant in the future; to be able to handle it, there is a clear need of effective collaboration between Industry and Academia, from graduate studies to life-long learning. For the full results please see the Report on the consultation


Second Partners Meeting
05/05/2020

Second Partners Meeting

The Second Project meeting of GrEnFIn originally scheduled to be held in Vienna, instead took place virtually, this was because of the current COVID-19 pandemic emergency. The Consortium agreed anyway to carry on with the work and meet on Microsoft TEAMS platform, on the 21st, 22nd, and 23th April 2020. The sections where from 3.00 PM till 6.00 PM (Brussels Time) in order to allow all the partners to participate despite the different time zones.

All Consortium Partners participated at the meeting. The first day Prof. Silvia Romagnoli introduced the meeting with an effective recap of the updates, adjustment and results achieved during the start-up phase of the project. UNIBO then presented the latest outcomes of WP2: stakeholders consultation, validations activities and survey, and the University Paris-Dauphine together with Pixel had a session to deeper explain the importance of the website and a focus on disseminations events, also considering the current international situation. The 22nd was focused to the Quality (WP9) and Evaluation Plan (WP10) and WP3: Draft curriculum development with a preliminary draft of the summer school structure.  During the last meeting day the focus was on Project Management aspects. First the Project Management Framework (WP1) was presented and discussed and then the rest of the section was dedicated to refresh and discuss about the upcoming first internal progress report. The meeting was a good opportunity for all partners to have a look at the activities and Todolist of each WP for the next months before the First Summer School and the following Project Meeting scheduled next June.

 


GrEnFIn Summer School
17/04/2020

GrEnFIn Summer School

It is now possible to enroll in the first GrEnFIn Summer School that will take place in Bologna on 8-11 giugno 2020.

GET MORE INFORMATION


Survey
03/02/2020

Survey

The surveys to determine what is the skillset needed to shape the professional role of the Sustainable energy expert is available.

CLICK TO PARTECIPATE


Kick-off Partners Meeting
27/11/2019

Kick-off Partners Meeting

The Kick-off meeting took place in Bologna (IT) on 27-29 November 2019. Representatives from the University of Bologna presented to the partners the project and the activities to be carried out. The meeting was also an opportunity for the partners to get to know each other and to discuss all details related to the project's activities. The partners presented the institutions involved. At the end of the meeting all the partners had a clear view of the future project's implementation, the financial rules and the next activities..


The GrEnFin Project
01/11/2019

The GrEnFin Project

The GrEnFin project has been funded, by the European Commission in the framework of the the Erasmus+ Programme with the aim to to provide the Energy Sector’s stakeholders (energy providers, private companies, research institutes,…) with 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.