Over 60% of the portfolio, representing over 600 million, is invested in renewable energy projects in the Netherlands. Since 2014 Triodos Groenfonds also provides funding for renewable energy projects in emerging countries. The fund may invest up to 20% of its assets in renewable energy projects in these countries. Currently, around 6% of the fund’s assets is invested in 12 projects and 2 funds in different emerging countries, including Nicaragua, Kenya and Nepal.

“Recently, our investments in renewable energy projects grew to well over more than 120“, comments Angeles Toledo Rodriguez, fund manager for Triodos Groenfonds. “More importantly, last week our -assets under management passed the EUR 1 billion mark. This is an important milestone that positions us strongly to continue facilitating the energy transition in the Netherlands and in emerging countries'’

Clear focus

Triodos Groenfonds provides funding predominantly in the form of senior loans for projects undertaken by new and existing sustainable energy companies, including wind, solar, hydropower and heat and cold storage projects, as well as energy efficiency and storage projects. The fund can also provide, but to a lesser extent, mezzanine capital and equity. The fund aims to bring more than financing to projects. “Part of our mission is to add knowledge and expertise wherever possible. Taking environmental and social aspects into account is paramount, for example. Also, the fund aims to invest in projects that enjoy strong public or local support“, says Toledo Rodriguez. 

The fund focuses on small and medium-sized projects where Triodos can add more value but may also fund large projects. The investment period ranges from a late development phase to the operational stage.

“As a pioneer in financing renewable energy, we are always on the lookout for innovative projects, but without technology risks. The following two projects are good examples of the type of projects through which we aim to accelerate the energy transition,” says Toledo Rodriguez.

Floating solar panels

In 2019 the first large-scale floating solar park in Europe was realised on a sand quarry lake in the municipality of Tynaarlo, in the northeast of the Netherlands. The 23,000 panels provide enough power for around 2300 households. The owner of the solar farm, GroenLeven, is the market leader in the development of large-scale solar power projects in the Netherlands, specializing in solar farms with a dual purpose, such as solar panels on rooftops and carports and floating panels on former landfill sites and sand quarries. Such locations still provide plenty of space for installing additional solar panels without causing a negative impact on landscape and nature. The company has so far installed over 850 solar fields and solar farms in the Netherlands. Together, these facilities generate enough power for over 45,000 homes.

Toledo Rodriguez: “The structure that was developed for Tynaarlo was tested extensively, in order to ensure that it has no negative impact on the environment but is also able to withstand the impact of wind and waves. The special panels let through light, so that plants and animals that live in the water underneath are affected as little as possible.'’

Green hydrogen

Funding by Triodos Groenfonds and Triodos Bank has helped hydrogen developer HYGRO take the first step in the construction of a hydrogen turbine. Toledo Rodriguez: “This project constitutes an important step towards making green hydrogen affordable.” The first phase of the construction of a hydrogen turbine will get underway in the Wieringermeer polder, in the north of the Netherlands, at the ECN Windturbine Test Site Wieringermeer. The construction of this turbine is an important step towards the production of green hydrogen. A hydrogen turbine is a wind turbine in which an electrolysis system is connected directly to the source. This integration makes it possible for the turbine to produce green power as well as green hydrogen in a highly efficient manner. The turbine is expected to become operational in the second quarter of 2021.

This project will also demonstrate that in addition to avoided energy losses, the electrolysis system itself is more efficient than previously assumed. Compared with the large-scale electrolysis systems that are connected to the electricity grid, the hydrogen turbine can produce more hydrogen from wind power at lower costs. Due to the efficiency gain and the use for transport purposes, a large amount of CO2 emissions will be avoided, as well as noise and particle emissions.

Facilitating the energy transition

Learn more about these and other sustainable energy projects financed by Triodos Groenfonds, and register here for our webinar on Thursday 26 November.

Fund manager Angeles Toledo Rodriguez will take you behind the scenes of Triodos Groenfonds. Siebren Zijlstra, director of GroenLeven, and Hugo Groenemans, founder of HYGRO, will tell you about the role that their companies play with regard to the Dutch energy transition.