Despite the hype about smart cities, and the availability of EU funding, there are very few projects out there that qualify for funding, according to Lada Strelnikova, lead fund manager at the European Energy Efficiency Fund (EEEF). An exception: Belgian bank Belfius has, with the support of the European Investment Bank (EIB), provided €1 billion to smart city projects involving more than 100 municipalities in Belgium. According to Joost Declerck of Belfius, the market for smart city solutions is growing – and if the banks don’t jump on it, the Googles and Amazons of the world will. Smart cities have featured on the European policy landscape since 2012, when the European Commission launched the EIP-SCC (European innovation partnership on smart cities and communities). Working with cities, industry, SMEs, banks, academia and citizens to design and implement sustainable urban projects, the EIP-SCC provides a marketplace for bankable smart city solutions. It is aiming to facilitate investment of at least €1 billion involving 300 cities by the end of 2019. However, most of the smart city projects so far have been kickstarted with European public funding, and the challenge now is for smart cities to attract investment from other sources. Funding is available from, amongst others, the European Energy Efficiency Fund (EEEF), but the project pipeline is slow to build, says Lada Strelnikova, lead fund manager at EEEF in an interview with Energy Post.
Energy Post 17th Sept 2018 read more »