Energy Investment Fund
The Energy Investment Fund (EIF) is a Scottish Government Fund which builds on the success of the Renewable Energy Investment Fund. The Fund provides commercial funding for renewable and low carbon energy solutions. It is managed on our behalf by the Scottish Investment Bank, which is part of Scottish Enterprise.
The EIF is a discretionary fund and projects will be assessed on a case-by-case basis with appropriate diligence and security requirements. It will provide debt and equity funding at commercial rates and on commercial terms but cannot fund research and development, feasibility or pre-development costs.
The EIF can only provide gap funding for projects which have secured the remainder of their finance from other sources and cannot fully fund projects. Applicants will be required to evidence their efforts to secure funding from other sources.
There are two main types of project that will be supported by the EIF:
- community projects
- commercial projects
In assessing a project’s suitability for funding, consideration will be given to both the short and long-term economic impact of projects and will include a focus on both the fit with our energy strategy and its impact. The EIF aims to address other important policy priorities. These include:
- increasing community benefits in the areas where these projects are being undertaken
- maximising community investment in commercial schemes
In 2019 to 2020 a total of £20 million has been made available for both community energy projects and commercial energy projects, providing they are able to demonstrate their commitment to delivering community benefits.
Once the SNIB is functional in 2019, the bank is expected to provide low-carbon investment as part of its mission-based approach to maximising investment growth in Scotland.
The EIF’s predecessor, the REIF, was created in 2012 to provide financial support to renewables developers who had challenges in obtaining the necessary levels of finance from the market at that point in time.
The REIF was replaced with the EIF following the publication of the Scottish Energy Strategy and Climate Change Plan, where the decision was made to increase the eligibility of the funding to also encompass low-carbon energy projects.