Regions4GreenGrowth (R4GG)

Project Details

Title: Regional policy instruments and approaches for improving access to finance and speeding up investments in sustainable energy.
Priority: 2: Environment and risk prevention
Theme: Energy and sustainable transport

Type of intervention

Type of intervention: 1: Regional Initiative Project
Mini-programme: No
Duration: 1st Jan 2012 - 31st Dec 2014


Total budget: €2,090,576.58
ERDF contribution: €1,621,843.26

Lead partner

Province of Flevoland
Visarenddreef 1 / P.O. Box 55
8200 AB, Lelystad

  • Click for contact details
    • Contact Person: Mr Bob Pels
      Phone: +31 320 265 474
      Fax: +31 320 265 260

Project summary

The EU, its Member States and EU regions have defined ambitious energy strategies, setting firm targets for an increased share of renewable energy sources, more energy efficiency and less carbon emissions in order to make Europe’s energy supply sustainable and future proof.


An important obstacle for wide-spread introduction of renewable energy production capacity and energy efficiency measures is the fact that actors (public and private) willing to invest in sustainable energy hardware and infrastructure often have difficulties to attract financial means to support their investments. The private financial sector (banks, investors) is often hesitant to invest in sustainable energy. Public funding is an alternative or complementary source for these investments. But the financial volume of national financial support schemes in most EU countries is limited and they often lack continuity or are difficult to acquire.


These limitations of the funding ‘market’ are holding back realisation of

the targets set by EU regions in their sustainable energy strategies. Regions with the ambition to be leaders in sustainable energy must therefore themselves create innovative instruments and facilities to generate these financial flows and investments in their territory.


Regions4GreenGrowth is an initiative of EU regions who have defined high sustainable energy ambitions and now encounter this obstacle. The overall objective of the project is to equip these regions with regional policy instruments, mechanisms and approaches to improve access to finance for and speed up investments in sustainable energy projects (e.g. renewable energy generation capacity, energy efficiency measures) in their territories.


The partners in this project are Flevoland province (NL, lead partner), Norrbotten and Västernorrland regions (SE), Maramures County and Prahova Energy Agency (RO), Abruzzo and Lazio regions (IT), Valencia Energy Agency and Instituto Technico de la Energia (ES), Patras Science

Park representing Western Greece region (EL), Euro Perspectives Foundation representing Gabrovo region (BG), Noord-Brabant province (NL), Assembly of European Regions (FR), Észak – Alföld regional development agency (HU) and Oldham Council representing Greater Manchester Region (UK).


Project activities include the collection and documenting of effective policy instruments in this field from partners and other actors. During Peer Reviews the partners will tackle the specific challenges of each partner region and present them with tailor made packages of policies and instruments to speed up sustainable energy investments. And a specific method for creating a public-private cooperation structure for investments in sustainable energy, developed by Flevoland, will be passed on to the partners in a Master Classes series, and implemented in 3 partner regions. Project achievements will be documented in a Guide on methods and implemented Good Practice and widely disseminated.

Project achievements

The Regions4GreenGrowth project aimed to boost investments in sustainable energy by exchanging experiences between 15 partners from 13 regions. In the first period, the partners collected and described 19 good practices. The project worked with the so called peer review methodology. During a peer review, a host region is visited by a team of experts from other regions to assess the regional situation on a specific topic. After the study visit, the peer team delivers an advice to the region. In the first semester, the peer review methodology was adapted to the topic of the project; how to stimulate investments in sustainable energy. During the first peer review workshop in Rome the methodology was explained and discussed with the partners to enable them to organise a high quality peer review. During the second peer review workshop in Debrecen, the methodology was evaluated and slightly adapted. In total 13 peer reviews were organised:

The Valencian peer review focused on how to attract more foreign investments and the peer review in Västernorrland on logistics & public transport The peer review in Noord Brabant focused on how to create new business opportunities within the region's core research ares (biobased economy, solar and electric mobility). Eszak-Alföld concentrated on how to involve municipalities in the promotion of RES and how to include RES in planning/procurement procedures. Abruzzo focused on how to boost investments from the private sector. Also the other regions determined their focus based on the main issues in their regions, a.o. how to increase the spin-off of sustainable energy, how to increase the financing possibilities for clean tech SME's etc. Up to now, 11 regional policies were improved by implementing the peer review recommendations. Following the peer reviews the regions also started to exchange good practices (GP), which has resulted in 3 transfers from one region to another.

Valencia developed an action plan and started to implement a revolving fund and ESCO's to refurbish public buildings. Euro Perspectives Foundation managed to improve the Regional Development strategies 2014 - 2020 in 4 regions and also Norrbotten, Lazio, Västernorrland, Manchester, Flevoland and Észak Alföld managed to improve their regional policies.

Three Master Classes on how to create a Development and Investment Organisation (DIO) for sustainable energy were organised by Flevoland and Oldham/Manchester. The first dealt with analysing the gap between RES/EE goals and the realisation of these goals and if the creation of a DIO could be a suitable instrument for the participating regions to close this gap. The second Master Class was organised in Hungary in March 2013 and dealt with political commitment, mobilising stakeholders to create a DIO and how to select projects for the DIO.

The third Master Class was organised in Sweden in May 2014 and dealt with the implementation aspects of a DIO. Prahova and Lazio are working on a pilot for the development of such an organisation in these regions.

As a spin-off effect of R4GG, the partners developed 6 new initiatives (in the framework of Horizon 2020, Leonardo, etc.)

Communication was an important part of the project, since we aim to share the project results with other regions in Europe. In the field of communication the following activities were carried: The website was developed and put online from April 2012 on. Five newsletters were published and distributed among over 7000 people. Regions4GreenGrowth was promoted in 73 events. Nineteen youtube films about the project (peer reviews and other events) were produced and 4380 copies of the two project brochures were distributed. R4GG has appeared in press and media 168 times.


Institution, Town Country Region Contact details
Province of Flevoland, Lelystad NETHERLANDS Flevoland +31 320 265 474
County Council of Norrbotten, Luleå SWEDEN Övre Norrland 0046 920 284 183
Maramures County Council, Baia Mare ROMANIA Nord-Vest 0040 262 211544
Region Abruzzo, Pescara ITALY Abruzzo 0039 085 7672570
Valencia Energy Agency (AVEN), Valencia SPAIN Comunidad Valenciana 0034 963 427 927
Lazio Region, Roma ITALY Lazio 0039 (06) 51689268-9264
Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Agency “AE3R Ploieşti-Prahova”, Ploieşti ROMANIA Sud - Muntenia 0040 244 51 54 54 /
Västernorrland County Council, Härnösand SWEDEN Mellersta Norrland 0046 70 190 44 17
PATRAS SCIENCE PARK S.A., PATRAS GREECE Dytiki Ellada 0030 (2610) 911.550-1
Center for Sustainable Regional Development -Gabrovo, Gabrovo BULGARIA Severen tsentralen 00359 66 80 54 80
Province of Noord-Brabant, ‘s-Hertogenbocsh NETHERLANDS Noord-Brabant 0031 73 681 2605
Assembly of European Regions (AER), Strasbourg FRANCE Alsace +33 3 88 22 74 33
Észak-Alföld Regional Development Agency Non-profit Limited Company, Debrecen HUNGARY Eszak-Alfold +36 52 501 006
Oldham Council, Oldham UNITED KINGDOM Greater Manchester 0044 161 770 4089
Instituto Tecnológico de la Energía, Paterna (Valencia) SPAIN Comunidad Valenciana 34961366670
Euro Perspectives Foundation, Sofia BULGARIA Yugozapaden 00 359 2 9541080
Valencian Institute of Business Competitiveness, Valencia SPAIN Comunidad Valenciana 0034 963 427 927


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