GROW launched – more energy investments for businesses in Kosovo
Supported by the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC), Millennium Foundation Kosovo (MFK) launched the first phase of the GROW project aiming to accelerate business investments in renewable energy and energy efficiency.
GROW (Green Recovery and Opportunity Window) is initially providing technical assistance for businesses in Kosovo, and is soon expected to launch the new credit guarantee window, provided by the main institutional partner The Kosovo Credit Guarantee Fund (KCGF).
Apart from offering free and personalised technical assistance, GROW will assess the potential and specific needs of businesses, and guide them towards the financing options for their investments.
“Unstable supply with electricity has consistently been considered a major cost to businesses in Kosovo. With the recent energy crisis in Europe, this burden has become even greater for Kosovo’s economy. This guarantee window will support businesses to take control of their own energy costs by enabling them to plan and invest in self generation and implement energy efficiency measures, reducing uncertainty caused by these and future global shocks. ” – Sarah Olmstead, MCC Kosovo Resident Threshold Director
The technical assistance through GROW consists of advising businesses during the preparation of applications to finance their investments through loans in commercial banks. Businesses will be able to apply via growkosovo.com to benefit from this technical assistance and to learn about the required procedures and documentation for becoming an energy auto-producer, or for investing in other energy efficiency measures.
Petrit Selimi, Executive Director of MFK, stated that: “Investing in green energy will make businesses independent in terms of energy production and it will increase their competitive advantage in the local and international market. The technical assistance is only phase one of the project, as we are working hard together with The Kosovo Credit Guarantee Fund (KCGF) to offer credit guarantees for these investments in order to preserve the cash flow of businesses”.
The Director of the Kosovo Credit Guarantee Fund (KCGF), Besnik Berisha, stated that: “The Kosovo Credit Guarantee Fund is working towards finalising the Green Recovery and Opportunity Window (GROW) that supports MSMEs in contributing to the promotion of investments that prioritise the production of renewable energy for auto-consumption, as well as investments that directly contribute to saving energy. The implementation of this window will begin thanks to the capital secured from KfW, which will help partner financial institutions in crediting sectors that have not been credited by far.
Moreover, consultancy provided through the technical assistance of MCC/MFK and KfW will be utilised in increasing the capacities of partner institutions by offering tailored training for staff to orient clients towards green investments”.
On the other hand, GROW will also provide technical assistance for energy efficiency investments, such as new machinery, building insulation, windows, heat pumps and many more. Businesses will receive evaluations and recommendations for the necessary investments, as a way to reduce their energy consumption along with operational costs.
GROW project is part of the program ‘Sustainable Energy Landscape’, implemented by the Millennium Foundation Kosovo (MFK). MFK is the accountable entity responsible for the implementation of the $49 million Threshold agreement, signed by the Republic of Kosovo and MCC in 2017. MFK’s mission statement calls for accelerating Kosovo’s transition to energy independence and good governance. The Kosovo Threshold Program addresses two key constraints to Kosovo’s economic growth: an unreliable supply of electricity; and real and perceived weakness in rule of law, government accountability and transparency.