The world is a long way from unlocking the full potential of energy efficiency. Despite ample evidence of their cost-effectiveness, investments in efficiency have not grown significantly since 2017. While this stems in large part from slow progress in strengthening efficiency policies, the challenges associated with access to finance remains a constraint.
Energy service companies (ESCOs) are businesses that provide energy solutions, which can include generation and supply, energy efficiency, or retrofitting projects. Typically, they deliver efficiency based on contracts tied to energy performance and are key enablers of investments. They help consumers identify, finance and implement projects, thereby lowering the threshold to invest. In particular, ESCOs can reduce the burden of making upfront capital expenditures and facilitate access to commercial financing.
In 2020, the size of the global ESCO market increased by 6% to USD 33 billion, continuing steady growth since 2015. Most of this stemmed from China, where estimated revenues rose 12% despite the pandemic. The United Arab Emirates and the United States also saw growth, while European markets and those in emerging Asia contracted. Without appropriate policy support, ESCOs, particularly the ones that remain in the early development stage, could further lag behind.
This webinar, organised in collaboration with the World Bank, aims to provide energy efficiency policymakers and the ESCO stakeholders with insights into the challenges and opportunities ahead by inviting practitioners from the ESCO industry for a panel discussion.