EVALUATION OF THE EU SPENDING PROGRAMS TARGETING ENERGY AND CLIMATE ACTIONS
Moderator: Aleksandra Novikova, Institute for Climate Protection, Energy and Mobility
The achievement of energy and climate targets is among five ambitious objectives set by the European 2020 growth strategy. At least 20% of the European Union budget covered by the European Multiannual Financial Framework 2014 – 2020 has to be spent to achieve the objectives. The related actions are incorporated into all major EU spending programs such as cohesion policy, regional development, energy, transport, research and innovation, as well as the Common Agricultural Policy. Designing and implementing these actions require an understanding of how they performed in the past in order to allocate the limited public resources in the most efficient way.
The present session aims to provide this understanding. Its participants present their ex-post evaluations of projects, which relate to energy and climate, supported by the EU cohesion policy as well as by the EU research and innovation funding during the 2007 – 2013 budget period. Further, selected insights of the papers are discussed.
Le Den et al. (2016) discuss their evaluation of the support provided by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) and the Cohesion Fund (CF) for energy efficiency interventions in public and residential buildings. At the beginning of the budget period, this topic was new for the EU Cohesion Policy and therefore the intervention design, monitoring, and reporting had many shortcomings. This fact reflected in limited data generated by the projects for their evaluation and in their limited comparability. The authors present the methodology, which they developed and applied to evaluate the interventions overcoming these challenges. The methodology combines desk research, quantitative data analysis, and stakeholder consultations. The authors reviewed all 215 operation programmes financed by the ERDF and CF, analyzed in more detail a sample of 48 selected programmes, and conducted in-depth case studies of six of these programmes. The paper concludes with specific recommendations to policy makers and evaluators on how to improve the monitoring and evaluation of energy efficiency interventions. The authors highlight the importance of harmonization and standardization of project outcome and impact data as well as the importance of qualitative and participatory approaches to collect information on experience with the implementation of programmes.
Groves and Howes (2016) describe their evaluation of the projects supported by the Intelligent Energy Europe programme (IEE) focusing specifically on those, which aimed to increase the uptake rates of bioenergy. The authors examined to which extent the projects influenced bioenergy policy, market development, supply chains, as well as skills and knowledge in their target European countries and beyond. The projects delivered prior to 2013 were not required to record outputs and impacts in a standardized manner that led to highly varied records. Also, many projects measured their immediate outputs but did not evaluate their short- and long-term impacts. The authors present the methodology, which they designed overcoming these issues. The authors used the existing project datasets, made assumptions to complement this data, looked across similar projects to compare and contrast their approaches, as well as questioned the information with each project coordinator. The authors conclude that the projects could potentially provide very valuable information, but they did not do it because it was not required. Therefore, programs should make more efforts to set out a standard approach to measuring and estimating outputs and impacts including the application of common performance indicators.
Ligtvoet and van der Veen (2016) present their evaluation of the projects targeted sustainable energy, energy efficiency, smart grids, and fuel cell technology and supported by the European 6th and 7th Framework Programme. The authors investigated scientific, technological and innovation impacts of the projects including the use of project results, the impact of the projects on the participants, and the European dimension of the projects. Overall, they assessed over 600 projects that required analyzing the information input on different levels and integrating the outcomes. The methodology includes the detail analysis of case studies, interviews, and a large-scale survey. The authors conclude that the projects analyzed had a significant positive impact on technological leadership, access to research networks and international competitiveness of European knowledge institutes and companies. They had however a limited impact on the European economy and renewable energy generation. The authors faced numerous challenges with obtaining the project data required for the evaluation and they had to apply large efforts to assess limited or incomplete information. The authors conclude with the recommendations for policy-makers on how to improve the programme itself as well as how to allow for better programme evaluation in the future.
PAPERS / PRESENTATIONS
Evaluating EU Cohesion Policy Funding for Energy Efficiency Investments in Public and Residential Buildings across EU Member State [paper] [presentation]
Xavier Le Den, Ramboll Management Consulting
Miguel Riviere, Ramboll Management Consulting
Franziska Lessman, Ramboll Management Consulting
Martin Nesbit, Institute for European Environmental Policy
Kamila Paquel, Institute for European Environmental Policy
Andrea Illes, Institute for European Environmental Policy