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Evaluation of the Renewable Energy Investment Fund (REIF) and Energy Investment Fund (EIF)
REIF was launched in October 2012 to provide debt and equity investments to companies/projects in 3 sub-sectors: marine renewable energy; community-owned renewable energy; and renewable district heating. No district heating projects were supported as there were none that were investment ready. In 2018 the Fund became known as EIF. The investment criteria were amended slightly. This evaluation covered the period October 2012 to March 2020. Its aim was to review progress in achievement of the Fund’s objectives, identify good practice lessons and improvements.
The methodology involved desk research, data analysis, interviews with SE stakeholders and investors and an online survey of beneficiaries.
The Funds had succeeded in creating and growing new markets and increasing the supply of funding to the target areas. They had played an important role in attracting private sector finance to support community projects. The consensus view was that the Funds had been significantly additional: the impacts realised would not have arisen in the absence of the Funds. For example, 60% of surveyed beneficiaries would have been unable to proceed with their project without the Funds’ intervention, and all respondents would have seen their project affected in some way (delayed, more expensive, smaller in scope). The Funds had invested £85 million in 46 projects of which 25 were community-based ones (£25 million). The expectation is that the community projects will return £143 million to the communities to be spent on projects such as affordable housing and environmental schemes. Private sector leverage was 2:1 (£173 million of private funds). Net GVA is forecast to be £365 million giving an Impact Ratio (net GVA per £1 Fund support) of 4:1. Over 3 years the 46 projects are forecast to achieve Co2 savings of 166,000 tonnes.
The main recommendations were that: a clearly defined role for the Fund be maintained within a “joined up” policy approach; the Fund’s focus should be on the core business of developing and closing deals; and, The Fund should remain flexible, using bespoke approaches to deals. Seven minor recommendations were made around such things as providing monitoring support to beneficiaries and setting up a database of public funding sources.
Report (1 MB, pdf)
|Theme/Sector||Energy, Debt investment/loans, Equity investment, Investment, Sectors|