Supporting a sustainable energy company
There is widespread acceptance that fossil fuel-based energy systems represent a major threat to our long term security, health, prosperity and environment, and many countries are stepping up efforts to promote energy saving and clean energy alternatives.
According to a 2013 report by the International Energy Agency’s (IEA), investment in renewables has doubled in the last decade, and renewable power is on track to meet 2020 2DS objectives (2 degrees temperature increase scenario) of generating 25 percent of global electricity by 2020, despite the continued demand for oil, gas and coal.
Many of these efforts are being spearheaded by companies such as Eneco, the Rotterdam-headquartered generator, trader and supplier of sustainable energy. Eneco has operations in the Netherlands, the UK, Germany, France and Belgium. It supplies the daily energy needs of some 2.2 million companies and households, in the Netherlands and Belgium. Eneco was one the first major utilities to recognise the energy transition taking place in Europe.
"We’ve invested a lot in sustainability over the years, and have seen an accelerating transformation in the sector"
“We’ve invested a lot in sustainability over the years, and have seen an accelerating transformation in the sector from a traditional fossil fuelled one-way supply model into a de-centralised two-way model where consumers and companies, individually or in cooperation, become generators of renewable energy themselves,” explains Marc Volbers, Corporate Treasurer at Eneco Holding. “Businesses that are investing in wind power or solar panels are allowed to sell their excess energy back to the energy supplier via a wind bond system. This creates a different model for the industry. That’s why Eneco has clearly defined its mission of ‘sustainable energy for everyone’ together with its customers on a decentralised level.”
Volbers says that while most renewable projects still require a measure of government and policy support, the investment level required for installed capacity wind on shore and solar panels is decreasing and hence the payback period is getting shorter, making this type of investments more attractive. “We are witnessing a major transition in the energy landscape,” says Volbers. “This transformation will affect the banking landscape as well where we profit from combined competencies.”
"In this case, we have arranged an attractive funding with ING and two other green banks for our projects in wind, solar, and geothermal"
Due to its strong sustainability profile, ING is one of Eneco’s relationship banks, providing a broad variety of banking and advisory services that include financing for sustainability projects. As part of a small syndicate, ING recently participated in a €100 million loan for sustainable project financing via its Green Bank. ING Green Bank is a dedicated fund for sustainability financing in which customers benefit from fiscal incentives.
“In this case, we have arranged an attractive funding with ING and two other green banks for our projects in wind, solar, and geothermal. It is a loan supported by green certificates from the Dutch Ministry of Economic affairs, which provides the required level of validation,” says Volbers. “ING has an excellent understanding of our sector and is able to provide support when we need it and in a very seamless way.”
"I have confidence that ING will continue to be a highly active and trusted business partner in the renewable sector"
Looking ahead, Volbers believes sustainability will continue to be a business driver and a growing area of interest for many large investors, including insurance companies and pension funds. “I have confidence that ING will continue to be a highly active and trusted business partner in the renewable sector.”