For the first time in Europe a group of multinational companies has teamed up with local citizens to create what is effectively a consumer-to-business energy partnership. That’s right: a unique partnership has been set up in the Netherlands in which four leading companies have made a longterm agreement to jointly source power from renewable energy projects. These companies are Royal Philips, AkzoNobel, Royal Dsm and Google. As part of this partnership, the first agreement is to buy power from a Windpark Krammer, established by two cooperatives with together 4,000 members in the province of Zeeland and the island of Goeree-Overflakkee. With this initiative the companies significantly contribute to deliver on the Dutch renewable energy target of 14% in 2020 that was agreed in the Dutch Energy Agreement for Sustainable Growth in 2013.
Faced with demanding goals to meet sustainability targets, the four companies formed this consortium two years ago, to explore market opportunities together. This represents a new approach for corporations to enter into renewable Power Purchase Agreements. As a first step in their long-term collaboration, they have agreed to source a total of 350 million kWh a year from Windpark Krammer once it becomes operational in 2019. This is equivalent to the total annual consumption of 100,000 households. The agreement is both crucial for the funding of the windpark and for the sustainable ambitions of all four companies.
“As a recognized leader in the field of sustainability, the consortium offers a welcome opportunity for AkzoNobel to further increase its renewable energy use and continue finding new ways to do more with less. We are proud to be part of the future of energy sourcing” said Knut Schwalenberg, director of AkzoNobel Nederland. “This partnership shows that innovation does not stop at product development. It also means finding new ways of working together and illustrates our commitment to becoming more sustainable. In addition, by supporting communities to create more green energy, we are helping our cities to become cleaner and more livable.”
“This is a unique bottom-up collaboration that is a perfect fit for Dsm as a company that has sustainability in the core of its strategy. In this case local citizens have taken the initiative to drive the development of local renewable capacity for themselves and a consortium of 4 large-scale energy users, including Dsm. This bottom-up approach is an interesting, win-win model, because highly engaged individuals, industrial-scale users, windfarm developers and the national Dutch renewable target all benefit”, said Atzo Nicolaï, President Dsm Netherlands. “Sourcing renewable electricity in this way will help us deliver on Dsm’s global commitment to source at least half of our purchased electricity from renewable sources by 2025. To deliver on the Paris climate agreement goal of reducing the temperature increase to well below 2° Celsius, it is key that we join forces and build innovative partnerships like the one with Windpark Krammer.”
This partnership shows that innovation does not stop at product development… We are helping our cities to become cleaner and more livable.
“We’re deeply committed to sustainability and are very happy to collaborate with three other leading multinationals to increase sustainable energy use in the Netherlands,” said François Sterin, director global infrastructure at Google. “Google has been carbon-neutral since 2007 and we are committed to powering 100% of our operations with renewable energy sources. And our data centre in Eemshaven will be powered with renewable energy from day one when we open it later this year.”
According to Hans de Jong, Ceo Philips Benelux, the Dutch company “has set ambitious goals for 2020 with our sustainability program ‘Healthy People, Sustainable Planet’. Carbon neutrality is an important goal of our operations. So, we strive to only use 100% renewable electricity. This agreement is another step in realizing this goal. Windpark Krammer gives us the opportunity to source wind energy for our operations, a novel approach. I am proud to have teamed up with fellow industrial participants in this first-of-a-kind cooperation in Europe. It’s a perfect example of integrating circular economy principles.”
“This is a great achievement” added Tijmen Keesmaat, Managing Director of Windpark Krammer. “When we started working on the concept eight years ago, we did not foresee that we would be able to provide sustainable power not only to our members, but also to multinational companies. It is particularly great that we deliver directly to end users and that we cut out the middleman. This collaboration is energy transition on a complete new level and we are proud that we can play an important role in the new energy landscape.
by Giorgio Zani