Energy efficiency is good for the climate, and its a money-saver, too. Those are two major arguments in favor of companies switching over to energy-saving technologies - something that is being done in Serbia.
Modernization in that country's energy sector is urgently needed; energy usage is rising fast, but the sector is plagued by inefficiencies. Now, partnered with Serbian partner banks such as ProCredit, German government-owned KfW bank is offering low-cost loans to local companies that either switch over to renewable energy sources or implement energy-efficiency measures.
One example is Frano Prekpaljaj, a baker who works in Sid, near the Croatian border. For 23,000 euros ($33,000) he bought a new, efficient wood stove that burns half as much wood as the old model. The CO2 emissions from this stove are some 50 percent lower than they used to be, so Prekpaljaj was eligible for a low-interest eco loan. Actually, his savings go above and beyond the bank's requirement that the savings be at least 20 percent on electricity usage, or that CO2-emissions are lowered by 20 percent.
This means local partner banks like ProCredit are responsible for making sure the money is used to these energy-efficient ends. But the banker's job doesn't end there. Serbia's change into a modern market economy poses challenges to many companies, yet climate change is far from the minds of many business leaders. Making business leaders more environmentally conscious is a main goal of those who dispense eco loans.
A film by Danijel Visevic.