In their jointly organised webinar on January 28th, the Covenant of Mayors and the Smart Cities Marketplace discussed the needs of cities and what investors are looking for when considering to finance local climate and energy actions.
The Covenant of Mayors and the Smart Cities Marketplace share the common objectives to advise and support cities to access financing opportunities to ensure sustainable solutions for climate and energy actions.
During the webinar, representatives of the city of Groningen and the Smart City Infrastructure Fund presented their perspectives and experiences on what cities need and what investors are looking for when investing in cities climate related work. Speakers from the Matchmaking team of the Smart Cities Marketplace and the Covenant of Mayors office presented how the two initiatives are supporting both actors to bridge the finance gap.
The needs a city might have were presented by Franzisca Beeken from the city of Groningen. Groningen has set upambitious targets for the city’s energy transition and has developed an action plan for the fields energy (heat) production and heat demand reduction with the goal of becoming CO2 neutral by 2035. The city has already cultivated a portfolio of energy transitioning activities and shared their key learning points from the energy transition process during the webinar. One key learning is the importance of including citizens in the energy transition plans of their city as early as possible to achieve effective public participation. In this framework, the process of energy transition must be trustworthy for the citizens and sustainable. What is seen a challenge for Groningen are the high estimated costs for installation of district heating – one of the fields the city is focussing on. To make Groningen CO2 neutral, a total investment of approx. 10.000 € per inhabitant would be needed.