Dutch district heating gets green acceleration

Dutch district heating gets green acceleration

HVC Groep, a sustainable energy and waste company in The Netherlands, has signed a 15-year €50 million loan agreement with the European Investment Bank. The EIB-financing is supported under the European Fund for Strategic Investments (EFSI) of the Investment Plan for Europe. HVC will use the loan for its investment plans in the period 2020-2024, which will cover both the expansion of its existing district heating networks in Alkmaar and Dordrecht, and investments in geothermal sources for the heating of greenhouses in the Westland area.

About one fifth of the project cost will go towards the extension of the existing HVC district heating networks in the Alkmaar and Dordrecht regions, which the EIB supported in the early 2000’s. Here, HVC will replace individual natural gas-fired heating boilers in residential and commercial buildings with existing centralised and more sustainable heat generation (biomass and partially renewable waste), as well as increasing the number of connections. The above-mentioned activities are part of a broader heating programme, decided by HVC’s shareholders in May 2020. This programme includes new district heating networks in HVC’s operational area as well as the effort to make heat sources more sustainable.

In the “Westland” region, known for its greenhouse horticulture industry, HVC will replace natural-gas fired heating for horticulture greenhouses with low-carbon geothermal energy, by installing several geothermal heat sources. The switch away from natural gas heat generation will have both cost and environmental benefits.

Commissioner for the Economy, Paolo Gentiloni, said: “I am glad that the Investment Plan supports a €50 million loan by the EIB to HVC Groep, a sustainable energy and waste company in the Netherlands. This project showcases what the future of heating in Europe can look like: thanks to this loan, HVC will be able to install in buildings and horticulture greenhouses more centralised and sustainable heat generation based on biomass, renewable waste and low-carbon geothermal energy. A great initiative that saves money and is good for our climate.”

Ingrid Tigchelaar, CFO of HVC, said about the agreement: “HVC’s district heating programme represents a significant sustainability effort in The Netherlands, and the support from the EIB enables us to accelerate this. Together with our shareholders and various social housing corporations we have and display the patience that is needed to advance this successful approach.”

“As outlined in our recently approved Climate Bank Roadmap, the EIB will significantly increase its climate-relevant financing in the coming years. This makes improving the carbon footprint of the Dutch greenhouse horticulture industry even more important.” said EIB Vice-President Christian Thomsen. “We are glad to once again partner with HVC after financing the original district heating networks that they will now extend, especially at the current point in time, where both cost and environment are of the essence.

This is the fifth EIB loan to HVC, which the EIB has supported since 1994. It has through the years financed important steps in HVC’s transition to a sustainable energy and district heating company.

Background Information

The European Investment Bank (EIB) is the long-term lending institution of the European Union, owned by its Member States. It makes long-term finance available for sound investment in order to contribute towards EU policy goals. In 2019, the EIB made nearly EUR 2.5 billion available for projects in the Netherlands, including for healthcare, SMEs and energy efficiency projects.

HVC has a unique position through its activities in both the energy and the waste chain. As a sustainable public company, HVC has grown into a driving force behind municipalities, water boards, housing corporations and residents. Together we work on sustainable results with the greatest impact.

With in-house expertise in waste and energy, together with our municipalities, water boards and other parties, we are able to achieve concrete sustainable goals. Even when perseverance and patience are necessary. A clean world. We just do it.

The European Fund for Strategic Investments (EFSI) is the main pillar of the Investment Plan for Europe. It provides first-loss guarantees enabling the EIB Group to invest in riskier projects. The projects and agreements approved for financing under EFSI have so far mobilised €535.4 billion in investment, benefiting over 1.4 million SMEs.

Source: Dutch district heating gets green acceleration (europa.eu)

Photo Credit : https://pixabay.com/photos/flag-banner-dutch-netherlands-2896002/

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