Together in solar energy
Solar energy is also very important to Eneco´s sustainability approach. The general expectation is that there will be a rapid increase of energy production by means of solar panels in the Netherlands and that the parties involved will investigate all the possibilities to support this expectation. Eneco´s aim is to take the lead in this process and actively approach other parties. In 2012, the solar energy portfolio increased to 29.5 MWp, encompassing 140 locations, in particular, in Belgium and France.
In 2012, we introduced Eneco Zon&Zeker®, a complete package for the domestic market that enables consumers to generate their own energy by means of solar panels. Eneco Zon&Zeker® is now also available for SMEs, through housing associations, as a special offer for the employees of a number of large companies in the Netherlands and for specific target groups such as members of WWF. With Eneco Zon&Zeker®, we aim to achieve a distinctive position in the consumer solar energy market in the Netherlands. To this end, we have acquired a strategic interest in the company ZonIQ and we work as a mediator with Greenloans, which is a service provided by ABN AMRO bank for green loans to consumer.
Solar projects in the business market
The projects that we have developed at DSM (Geleen), Tata Steel (IJmuiden) and Philips (Best) in the Netherlands were all put into operation in 2012. In Amsterdam, we are developing a project on the roofs of housing corporation Eigenhaard.
In Belgium, we realised a substantial number of projects, including nine locations at Wienerberger (stone factories), ten locations owned by the municipality of Destelbergen and nineteen locations owned by the province of Oost-Vlaanderen. In 2012, there were a number of rapid developments in Belgium in the area of subsidies on solar energy. In Flanders, subsidies were significantly reduced, as a result of which the market shifted to Wallonia and Brussels. The Walloon government aims for a five-fold increase of the installed capacity in Wallonia to 1,200 MWp in 2020.
Investments in solar energy production capacity
Eneco has decided to expand its solar energy production capacity by developing its own production facilities and through the acquisition of existing parks. In 2012, these activities were mainly focused on Belgium and France. The first result of a thorough exploration of the French market was the acquisition of 70 installations in the south of France, with a total capacity of 11.8 MW, from the French company Fonroche Energie. We also entered into a partnership with this company aimed at investigating more suitable installations for the production of sustainable energy in France. We have entered into a similar partnership with the Swiss company Susi Partners.