How entrepreneurs benefit from solar energy without investment
The large roofs of companies are ideal for solar panels. ABN AMRO subsidiary Maas Capital makes it easy for entrepreneurs to profit from this sustainable form of energy. Entrepreneurs stand in line, because an investment is not necessary.
The benefits of solar energy are obvious. However, the substantial investment in solar panels and the long payback period make purchasing less obvious for companies. Investment company Maas Capital – an ABN AMRO subsidiary – therefore came up with a plan together with the developer of solar energy projects SolarAccess. They fill the roofs of companies with solar panels, the companies do not pay for the ownership of the panels, but for their use. The joint venture arranges, among other things, installation and maintenance. Companies pay slightly less per kWh for the energy generated by the sun than the market rate. The discount varies per company and depends, among other things, on your own energy consumption, the surface of the roof and the location.
Do not invest yourself
Heineken was the first to participate in the scheme in 2013. Thanks to a government subsidy, it is now interesting for many more companies. Ben Kras of Kras Recycling in Volendam, among others, signed the declaration of intent. For the entrepreneur a step in making the company more sustainable. “If the solar panels are connected to our four business premises in August, our company will be energy neutral.” Earlier, Kras opted for LED lighting and an electrically powered fleet.
He calls the scheme “too attractive to run.” “In the past, we considered investing in solar panels ourselves, but decided not to do so for competitive reasons. The long payback period of the investment brings too much uncertainty. “The Maas Capital and Solar Access scheme has a duration of 16 years. Kras: “At that moment the panels are my property. In theory, the panels can then last for another ten years. ”
In principle, the subsidy from the Ministry of Economic Affairs for generating and supplying solar energy is available to every entrepreneur. The offer from Maas Capital and SolarAccess is attractive because the joint venture arranges the subsidy application as well as the installation and maintenance of the solar panels. With this, the bank wants to help business customers make a positive contribution to making the world more sustainable. Moreover, by generating their own electricity, the entrepreneurs will lower their energy costs in the long term. Companies with large roofs with an area of at least 5,000 m2 are eligible.
For Louis Sciarli, general manager of waste processing company Vliko, the arrangement came at exactly the right time. The company housed various business units last year in one large business premises in Zoeterwoude. Previous investments in LED lighting and electric forklifts reduce energy consumption. If the panels are later on the roof, the entire annual energy requirement of the waste processor will be met of around 250,000 kWh. Sciarli: “We are able to work completely energy-neutral. We consider sustainability to be of paramount importance and given the costs, we saw no reason not to do it. ”
Sustainable bread bag
For family company Kivo Plastic Verpakkingen in Volendam, the scheme connected with the company mission. The company wants to make its most important product, the plastic bread bag, as sustainable as possible. Owner-director Robert Kwakman: “Flexible plastic has a bad image in the market. We tackle everything that contributes to making our product more sustainable. The solar panels will enable us to produce the bread bags in an energy-neutral manner. “Kwakman looked critically at the costs and conditions. “The cost per kWh is lower than the market price, which is important for us because there is fierce competition within the sector.” After signing the declaration of intent, the entrepreneur also managed to convince his foil supplier and distributor to install solar panels. By emphasizing the environmental interest, the price and the conditions (it is not an investment and does not have to be on the balance sheet), he convinced them. “This makes our chain a little more sustainable every time.”