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Energy Charter Secretariat publishes Energy Investment Risk Assessment 2021

On 7 October 2021, the Energy Charter Secretariat launched the fourth edition of its flagship publication, the Energy Investment Risk Assessment (#EIRA2021). The report was launched in Brussels at a hybrid event.

It was opened by Mr Tigran Melkonyan, Head of Energy Department at the Ministry of Territorial Administration and Infrastructure, on behalf of the Armenian Chairmanship of the Energy Charter Conference 2021. Mr Tigran Melkonyan emphasised that the publication included the assessment of the investment risks in the energy sector, based on a comprehensive overview of existing legal and regulatory frameworks of participating countries. He also added that the continuing interest of the countries demonstrates the report's value, uniqueness, and importance.

·         Go directly to the EIRA website and download the #EIRA2021 publication

EIRA evaluates risks to energy investment that can be mitigated through adjustments to policy, legal and regulatory frameworks. The publication aims to identify policy goals, provide learning opportunities, and stimulate reforms that make the investment climate of countries more robust and reduce the risk of investor-State disputes. It highlights the key strengths and areas for improvement in each country and gives recommendations to improve results. The profiles of the recurrent participants include a year-on-year comparison table. Each country's profile contains information from the Orbis Crossborder Investment database on the investment trends, the number of completed energy projects and deals between 2015-2021, the energy sub-sectors that received the investments, the financial value of the investments, and the source country of the investment. In addition, the report includes an annex that summarises the actions taken by governments to mitigate the risks assessed in EIRA and address the improvements suggested in the previous editions of EIRA.

Participation in EIRA increased from 30 countries in 2020 to 34 in 2021. The geographical reach of EIRA spans countries in Africa, Asia, the Americas, and Europe. Twenty-seven countries participating this year were also assessed in EIRA 2020, while two countries returned to the assessment from 2019. Apart from these, five countries are taking part in EIRA for the first time.

The target audience of EIRA is policymakers. Its objective is to assist them in (1) identifying policy and regulatory gaps and (2) attracting sustainable investment in the energy sector. Additionally, it seeks to give the energy industry, investors, and the financial sector insight into the investment climate of the assessed countries.

A website dedicated to EIRA was launched in 2019. It offers extensive and updated data on the evolving regulatory regimes of the participating countries. It projects the year-on-year trajectory of the country on different EIRA parameters, provides detailed information for each question on the EIRA questionnaire and includes an online library of over 1,900 primary legal documents.

Secretary-General of the International Energy Charter Dr Urban Rusnák presented the publication. He indicated that while unpredictable policy and regulatory change was the most prominent risk in the EIRA countries for the 4th consecutive year, it was also the area that saw the most progress in risk mitigation. He also added that the Secretariat, with support from the Energy Charter Conference's Working Groups and Delegations, expanded EIRA's scope and refined its methodology to serve the interests of the Energy Charter Constituency. He emphasised that these efforts led to developing a more robust scope and methodology that would be utilised for the EIRA reports from next year.

EIRA 2021 was launched with the participation of high-level representatives of governments, international organisations, financial institutions and industry.

The following high-level officials have had their interventions at the Ministerial Session:

·         Hon. Senator Peter Bhembe, Minister of Natural Resources and Energy of Eswatini

·         H.E. Mr. Diego Mesa, Minister of Mines and Energy of Colombia

·         H.E. Mr. Nasrul Hamid, State Minister of Power, Energy and Mineral Resources of Bangladesh

·         H.E. Dr. Ogbonnaya Onu, Hon'ble Minister of Science, Technology and Innovation of Nigeria

Speakers at the Panel on the Views from Institutions and Industry expressed their opinion on EIRA.

Mr. Roger Taylor, Director of Business Development at EXXERGY, where he works for clients in the solar Photo Voltaic sector. He spoke about Country Risk Assessments in the context of Solar PV plants.

Mr. Christian Hewicker, the Director of Energy Markets and Energy Systems  at DNV Energy Systems spoke about the Energy Transition Outlook and Financing of Energy Transition in his intervention.

Ms. Bronagh O’Hagan who has fairly recently been appointed the Communications Director of EUROGAS spoke about Gas and carbonization issues.

Mr. Daron Bedrosyan, Energy Specialist at the World Bank Energy Sector Management Assistance Program, focussed on the level of details provided by the publication and indicated that resources like the EIRA, with its level of detail and nuanced analysis in each country, are important to identify how to design and plan energy investments in a given country. He also complimented the EIRA team on the impressive level of nuance achieved in the analysis of each country.

Mr. Hussein Mogaibel, Global Lead Energy Specialist, Islamic Development Bank, emphasised that the EIRA report is applicable both for the governments and the private sector. He referred to EIRA as one of the instruments to promote energy investment in the private sector.

Mr. Rafael Cayuela, Corporate Chief Economist and Global Strategy Director at Dow Europe GmbH and Chair of the IEC Industry Advisory Panel (IAP), has specified that EIRA is not only a tool for governments and investors but also for the industry. He added that the IAP appreciated the efforts of all the contributors and welcomed and supported all the existing and future editions of the publication. He also mentioned that the utilisation of the report would help the companies in pursuing the energy transition process.

The Energy Charter Secretariat is thankful to all who contributed to the launch of #EIRA2021 and to the more than 200 contributors who shared their expertise during the development of the publication.

A complete list of speakers is available here.

The PDF version of the publication is available here.

Presentation by Urban Rusnák, Secretary-General, International Energy Charter