Dutch district heating gets green acceleration
Financing will be used to provide heating from renewable sources to greenhouse horticulture in Dutch “Westland” region, as well as expand its district heating networks in regions around Alkmaar and Dordrecht.
Please note that this article and any associated images were originally published by the European Commission, here.
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.