Ideas for the future of energy efficiency financing in the French industry

In the coming years, improving the industrial competitiveness implies major investments, notably those that induce a significant reduction of energy consumption of manufacturing processes. Financing major investments in the industry, which cover the integration of technological innovations or which target incremental improvement of the energy performance seems to be one of the barriers to the development of these projects.

Therefore, the ADEME (French national energy agency), Axens (licensor in the oil&gas industry), ENEA Consulting, GRDF (main French gas distribution network actor) and GRTgaz (main French gas transportation network actor) have launched a study that aims to share recommendations to improve industrial energy efficiency financing.

This study discriminates from others on a methodological point of view, relying on high added value interviews with 20 high level decision makers from energy consuming industrials (CFO, CTO …) and 10 decision makers in technological offer and financial offer (technology providers, engineerings, bankers …)

The study results in a detailed and precise picture of industrial energy efficiency:

  • Investment processes as well as operational and functional organisations of industrials regarding energy efficiency
  • Barriers and levers of industrials, mainly the management of risks practices for the evaluation and follow-up of investments in energy efficiency
  • Existing and foreseen financial schemes allowing this kind of investments

It has concluded in 11 ideas put forth that can improve energy efficiency financing in the industry, split into 4 categories:

  • Involve actors to structure and promote energy performance in industrial projects
  • Cover risks to facilitate investments in less energy intensive productive industrial projects, and value energy gains
  • Structure financing tools targeting the improvement of energy performance in the industry
  • Promote incentive taxation and public support in favour of less energy intensive productive industrial projects

Finally, the steering committee believes that further investigating some of these ideas, in view of a later adoption, has the potential to encourage the penetration of less energy intensive technologies in the industry; and thus to move in the direction of a significant reduction of energy consumption in the industry. In that respect, the steering committee has identified those ideas that seem the most promising to him and that could be dedicated more detailed studies as a next step, notably:

  • Favour exchanges between actors by operationally leading a network that makes the connection between energy consuming industries, technological offer and financial offer for industrial energy efficiency
  • Support the evolution of the business models of technological offer actors towards selling less energy intensive solutions
  • Foster a service offer on deconsolidation, so as to assist industrials in tackling this question
  • Set up a mechanism to share the operational risk when integrating an innovative technology
  • Set up a mechanism to certify expected energy gains and the associated certification actors, which is a prerequisite to create the conditions for confidence by both industrials and investors in expected benefits from less energy intensive productive industrial projects

Written by

Yannael Billard

Yannael Billard