19 experienced staff of local and regional energy agencies from 13 European Countries (Austria, Belgium, Cyprus, Denmark, France, Germany, Greece, Italy, Ireland, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Spain) were in Brussels last week for the 5th ManagEnergy Master Class, the second Master Class on Module 2.
On the first day, participants were welcomed by the European Commission (DG ENER & EASME) and had the chance to identify the critical challenges for them within their energy agency and region. European Commission representatives were present during the three days in order to meet participants and exchange with them. After a short refreshing on Module 1 (Market Facilitation and Project Aggregation), Dr. Ursula Walther, professor at the Berlin School of Economics and Law, introduced participants to the fundamentals of financial accounting: balance sheets, profit and loss account, cash-flow statement. The day ended with two pratical case studies in order to apply the newly acquired knowledge.
The second day focused on the characteristics of financial instruments (cash flow, rights, obligations, contingent payments, risk, debts vs. equity, capital structure and leverage effect, cost of capital, Incentive effects and risk allocation) and the basics of banking. Each master Class includes lots of group work and practical case studies. An exercise now well known of the ManagEnergy Master Classes is the interactive role play on how to secure financing. This was the main activity of the third and last day. Participants had to present and convince our trainers (acting as financial institutions) with their project idea in order to secure financing.
Participants were quite satisfied with the training: "It is very useful to be here in order to understand the perspective of the banks, and how they take decisions on the project we would like to develop. When I go back to my agency in Croatia, I will definitely adapt the calculations and business models to make them more attractive for financial institutions", said Ivan Simic, director of the Regional energy agency of North Croatia.
According to Gonzalo Esteban, a sustainable energy technician working for the Provincial Energy Agency of Granada, this Module 2 perfectly complements Module 1: "In the first Module, we learnt about Market Facilitation and Stakeholder Engagement. All energy agencies do this: we are trying to develop and promote projects, and sometimes, we don't have the tools or the skills to involve relevant stakeholders. This second Module is more oriented towards private financing and banks. Although some energy agencies depend more on public funding than private financing, all of them have this role of project facilitator, and being able to secure private financing definitely helps fulfull the role."
You would like to attend this Module? There will be a last Master Class on Private Financing on 14-16 October! Registrations are already open: https://managenergy.eu/MasterClasses
The first Master Class on Module 3 will also take place in June. Stay tuned for more information.