In addition to renewable energy, climate change considerations have also directed EXIM's focus to energy savings and the role that energy efficiency exports can play in addressing climate change. For that reason, EXIM promotes financing of renewable energy and end-use energy efficiency exports.
Energy efficiency offers a low-cost solution for achieving a sustainable energy future while reducing greenhouse gas emissions, which have been linked to climate change. Moreover, energy efficiency can decrease the need for investment in energy infrastructure; diminish fuel cost and consumption, while maintaining the same level of energy service to users. Nevertheless, although energy efficiency has many benefits, financing end-use energy efficiency projects remains a challenge. Consequently, EXIM has placed an enhanced focus on providing export finance for energy efficiency projects in markets where commercial lenders are hesitant to assume the risk.
To improve communication with potential exporters and other stakeholders, EXIM has clarified and expanded the scope of energy efficiency exports eligible for the Environmental Exports Program and created a definitional subcategory of end-use energy efficiency exports:
- Buildings: design, engineering or architectural services for new and existing buildings (retrofit), energy audits, energy-efficient insulation, building envelopes, solar radiant barriers, advanced windows, energy-efficient lighting, water heating (including solar water heaters), and refrigeration technologies, smart meters.
- Industry: improvements in industrial design or process to reduce energy utilization, including, combined heating, cooling, and power (CHP), waste heat recovery, preheating and efficient drives (motor, pump, compressors), other technologies designed to reduce energy consumption and CO2 intensity in existing, brownfield fossil fuel plants, resulting in a significant reduction in the plant's level of CO2 emissions.
- Power Generation Facilities: refurbishment and re-powering (including hydropower) improved operation and maintenance practices and better resource utilization (higher plant load factors and availability). Reduced transmission and distribution losses: high-voltage lines, better insulated conductors, capacitors, efficient and low-loss transformers and improved metering systems and instrumentation.
- Smart Grid Technologies: smart meters, remote sensors, energy storage devices, energy management systems.
- Transport: Hybrid and electric vehicles, high MPG vehicles, and public transportation projects, urban mass transport systems, modal shifts to inter- and intra-city rail and water transport, improved fleet usage and compressed natural gas (CNG) vehicles.
Defining energy efficiency products and services is inherently challenging overall because it requires a comparison with an often-improving conventional product or method. In some cases, depending on purpose and use, an energy efficiency export may also qualify as end-use energy efficient. Accordingly, EXIM invites exporters and others to contact us to discuss the eligibility of their export transaction.