Local energy cooperatives can finance collective solar projects with the Realisation Loan of this new national fund. The Realisation Fund, managed by Energie Samen en Stimuleringsfonds Volkhuisvesting (SVn), expects to finance more than 1,000 renewable energy projects from citizens' initiatives in the coming years.
Important link in energy transition
The Realisation Fund will play an important role in the energy transition in the Netherlands, explains Angeles Toledo, fund manager of Triodos Groenfonds. “It is currently difficult for smaller energy cooperatives to obtain full financing for their project. Due to the high costs of due diligence financing smaller projects is often not profitable for banks. Most banks only finance projects that start at EUR 1 million. This is a shame, because energy cooperatives are an important link in the energy transition in the Netherlands. The energy transition is more than the technical issue of replacing fossil fuel. It is also an income issue, where the financial burden and the financial benefits can be shared. In this respect, energy cooperatives play an important role, strengthening people’s support of the energy transition along the way. The Realisation Fund will fill this gap.”
Combination of subsidy and loan
The Realisation Fund is intended for energy cooperatives that make use of the Cooperative Energy Generation Subsidy Scheme (SCE) or the Stimulation of Sustainable Energy Production and Climate Transition (SDE++). In addition, the projects are also eligible for the Groenregeling from the Dutch government.
The Realisation Loan offers a solution for projects from EUR 30,000 to EUR 1,000,000. The loan can be offered on favourable conditions, partly because of the income from the subsidy scheme and the contribution of the energy cooperatives. A maximum of 75% of the total project can be financed through the loan. In this way, the Realisation Fund helps citizens to realise their renewable energy projects. The fund has started with a capital of EUR 15 million, with the intention to grow to EUR 60 million in the next few years.
Application via Energie Samen and SVn
Local initiatives can apply for the Realisation Loan via Energie Samen. This umbrella organization of energy cooperatives advises the new cooperative about the financing application and its feasibility. SVn, the actual manager of the Realisation Fund assesses the application and grants the loan.
Unique collaboration Dutch financial institutions
The Realisation Fund is filled with so-called green capital provided by Triodos Groenfonds, Rabobank, and ASN Groenprojectenfonds. These three financial institutions have jointly drawn up the structure and documentation for project financing, specifically adapted for the Realisation Fund to finance smaller projects. This has resulted in processes, documents and procedures that make the process from application to realisation run as smoothly as possible. Currently, 30 loan application are being reviewed for approval.
Find out more about Triodos Groenfonds.