International and local experts discussed smart solutions to energy challenges in Cyprus, at a high-level conference in Nicosia.The conference – Smart sustainable energy: International experience and Cyprus – was a forum for sharing examples from across Europe of best practice in the industry.It was organised by the Cypriot Ministry of Energy, Commerce, Industry and Tourism, the European Commission (through the Support Group for Cyprus), and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD). The EBRD, a pioneer in delivering finance for sustainable energy projects in over 30 countries, presented examples of its investments in energy service companies that provide sustainable energy solutions. It also made a presentation on its small-scale financing for energy efficiency and renewable energy projects for firms as well as for commercial, residential and public buildings. In addition, the Bank shared its experience of helping to develop and implement smart metering, which enhances the efficient use of energy. Libor Krkoska, the EBRD’s Head of Office in Cyprus, told the joint conference: “The EBRD will be a strong partner for Cyprus as it seeks to strengthen its energy industry and make the most of its own resources to develop renewable energy. The Bank is happy to share its experience in helping to put in place lasting reforms that it will support with its investments.” Examples of sustainable energy projects were provided by experts from Italy, the Netherlands, Germany and Sweden, while the Technical Chamber of Cyprus (ETEK), which also supported the conference, presented its proposals for upgrading the energy efficiency of households. The EBRD has long been a champion of sustainable development and project finance for sustainable energy investments as well as water efficiency and waste minimisation, which improve economic performance and combat climate change. Since the launch of its Sustainable Energy Initiative in 2006, the Bank has invested over €16.4 billion in over 800 climate finance projects, promoting energy efficiency and the development of renewable energy sources and the more efficient use of scarce resources such as water. Projects under the initiative can also benefit from the Bank’s ability to deliver technical assistance to its clients and governments.” In Cyprus, where the EBRD started investing in 2014, the Bank expects to place a high priority on renewable energy – with an emphasis on solar which will benefit from the island’s abundant sunlight – as well as energy efficiency across all sectors. The organisation will specifically focus on investment in the efficient use of energy in buildings and the creation of a smart grid to improve the efficiency, reliability and commercial viability of electricity production and distribution.