Introduction to the special issue: Financing instruments to promote energy efficiency and renewables in times of tight public budgets
In the past, many countries have financed schemes to promote energy efficiency and renewable heat generation mainly through public budgets; support schemes to renewable electricity already have a broader financing basis but have been criticised for providing too little incentives for market integration of renewables. This is why it is essential to overhaul the existing financing instruments by tapping new financing sources in addition to the state budgets and by making them more efficient. This objective is examined in four areas: market-oriented financing schemes for energy efficiency options, financing options for the thermal renovation of the building stock, efficient schemes for renewable electricity generation and future promotion schemes for renewable energy sources for heat generation. The special issue shows that many financing options are either able to mobilise private capital or to supplement public capital in order to provide the additional investments needed for energy efficiency and renewables. The task which remains at the policy level is to establish an efficient framework based on a mixture of private and public funds which mitigates the risks for companies, is tailored to the technological needs and triggers synergetic policies addressing non-economic barriers.