Geothermal energy in the Netherlands supported by a new EIB loan of EUR 50 million | ThinkGeoEnergy

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Westland Greenhouse, Wateringen, Netherlands (Source: Flickr / Jeroen van Luin, Creative Commons)

New financing of EUR 50 million for the provision of geothermal energy for greenhouse horticulture in the Dutch region “Westland” and for the expansion of the district heating networks in the regions around Alkmaar and Dordrecht in the Netherlands.

HVC Groep, a sustainable energy and waste company in the Netherlands, has signed a 15-year loan agreement for EUR 50 million with the European Investment Bank. EIB finance is supported by 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 include both the expansion of its existing district heating networks in Alkmaar and Dordrecht and investments in geothermal sources to heat greenhouses in the Westland area.

Around one fifth of the project costs will be used to expand the existing HVC district heating networks in the Alkmaar and Dordrecht regions, which were supported by the EIB in the early 2000s. Here HVC will replace individual natural gas-fired boilers in residential and commercial buildings with existing central and more sustainable heat generation (biomass and partially renewable waste) and increase the number of connections. The above activities are part of a more comprehensive heating program that the shareholders of HVC decided in May 2020. This program includes new district heating networks in the HVC operating area as well as efforts to make heat sources more sustainable.

In the Westland region, known for its greenhouse horticulture, HVC will replace natural gas heating for horticultural greenhouses with low-carbon geothermal energy by installing several geothermal sources. Moving away from natural gas heating will have both cost and environmental benefits.

Economic Commissioner Paolo Gentiloni, called: “I am delighted that the Investment Plan is supporting a EUR 50 million loan from the EIB to HVC Groep, a sustainable energy and waste company in the Netherlands. This project shows what the future of heating in Europe could look like: thanks to this loan, HVC can install central and more sustainable heat generation based on biomass, renewable waste and low-carbon geothermal energy in horticultural buildings and greenhouses. A great initiative that saves money and is good for our climate. “

Ingrid Tigchelaar, CFO of HVC, said of the agreement: “HVC’s district heating program is a major sustainability effort in the Netherlands and the support from the EIB allows us to accelerate this. Together with our shareholders and various social housing associations, we have and show the patience that is necessary to drive this successful approach forward. “

As outlined in our recently adopted Climate Bank Roadmap, the EIB will significantly increase its climate finance over the coming years. This makes improving the carbon footprint of Dutch greenhouse horticulture even more important.“, Said EIB Vice-President Christian Thomsen. “We are excited to be working with HVC again after financing the original district heating networks that they will now expand, especially at this time when costs and the environment are paramount.

This is the fifth EIB loan to HVC that the EIB has supported since 1994. It has funded key steps in the transition from HVC to a sustainable energy and district heating company over the years.

Source: EU Commission

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