EU Financial Instruments in Practice: SMEs’ investments in energy efficiency and renewable energy in Croatia

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DOI:

https://doi.org/10.32479/ijeep.13216

Abstract

In the context of the EU development strategy based on a climate neutral economy by 2050, an important dilemma for policy makers is how to provide an incentive for companies, especially small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), to make energy efficiency and renewable energy projects their high priority. The aim of this paper is to provide an independent empirical assessment of EU financial instruments and its barriers, used by SMEs targeting energy efficiency and renewable energy. Ex-Ante evaluation was carried out on a sample of 320 SMEs in Istria County, Croatia. The results of the empirical research suggest that despite of a low interest of investors in green projects, the use of the innovative financial instrument would significantly contribute to an increase in the number and value of investments in energy efficiency and renewables. Similar to most of other studies, our results also confirmed that administrative and bureaucratic barriers are perceived as the biggest obstacle for SMEs. It is therefore necessary to reduce the number of bodies involved, improve the quality of information dissemination and simplify procedures.

Keywords:

SMEs, energy efficiency, renewable energy, EU financial instruments, Croatia

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Author Biographies

Florijan Celic, Faculty of Economics and Business, University of Rijeka, Ivana Filipovica 4, 51000 Rijeka, Croatia

Florijan Ćelić is a PhD student at the Faculty of Economics and Business, University of Rijeka. He has more than 10 years of professional experience in complex financial analysis, cost-benefit analysis and strategic management in the public sector. He specializes in applying for EU projects in the field of energy efficiency and renewable energy. He is the founder and owner of the consulting company Ideo Plan, Croatia.

Nela Vlahinic Lenz, Faculty of Economics and Business, University of Rijeka, Ivana Filipovica 4, 51000 Rijeka, Croatia

Prof. Nela Vlahinić Lenz, PhD is a full professor of Macroeconomics and Energy Economics at the Faculty of Economics and Business, University of Rijeka. She is the head of MBA Study Program Energy Economics and the head of the department in Economic Theory. She is a visiting professor at several universities in Croatia and Slovenia. She published 4 books as an author, 12 book chapters and over 100 scientific journal articles. Prof. Vlahinić Lenz has led 5 scientific projects on energy sector, regulatory reforms and energy efficiency and is currently the leader of 2 scientific projects on economic and social impacts of decarbonisation.

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Published

2022-07-19

How to Cite

Celic, F., & Vlahinic Lenz, N. (2022). EU Financial Instruments in Practice: SMEs’ investments in energy efficiency and renewable energy in Croatia . International Journal of Energy Economics and Policy, 12(4), 173–185. https://doi.org/10.32479/ijeep.13216

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Articles