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The Hague earmarks 180 million euros for sustainability

The money comes from the sale of energy company Eneco

  • October 15, 2020 09:30
  • Author Aseniya Dimitrova
Medium the hague 2633750 1920

The Hague will be investing an impressive 180 million euros towards sustainability, in order to tackle the climate crisis and to create jobs, as was informed on Monday by its municipal website. The amount comes from the sale of energy company Eneco and will go into clean energy sources, storage and building renovations. The goal is to achieve a more liveable city for the current and future generations – a result that should be seen within 10 years.

Supporting energy ambitions with the appropriate funding

Alderman Liesbeth van Tongeren (Sustainability and Energy Transition) explained the purpose of the upcoming expenditure. She said that these financial resources will help locals to quickly make their home and business investments more sustainable. In her words, there is a real desire from local residents, grid operators, energy companies and real estate owners to become greener, but the finances can often be an obstacle.

That is where the money from Eneco comes in - to help residents of The Hague who want to get started on their path to energy transition. The Dutch Municipality wants to direct profitable projects with low risk and help with high risk and unprofitable ventures that are too large for market actors alone.

The Municipality is also looking at how European money, government subsidies and private investments can be combined with the Eneco funds. The resources will be distributed in four pillars, in such a way that even the large projects will be achievable in practice.

So far, it is clear that out of the 180 million euros, one third will go the first pillar - making homes and company buildings in the city more sustainable. Individuals, corporations, private landlords, VVEs and SMEs can receive subsidies and tailor-made advice to insulate their home or to cook on induction heating, for example. A large part of these resources will be used to implement the district energy plans.

The second pillar (34 million euros) involves municipal buildings that should be renovated to become more sustainable and connected to clean energy sources – such as community centres, district offices, theatres. Almost a third of the budgeted amount has been reserved for making sports facilities more sustainable.

The third pillar wants to connect sustainable real estate to more environmentally friendly heat sources, with 27 million euros available for the purpose. The Municipality already co-finances the geothermal source in South-West and is also focusing on geothermal energy, with ongoing projects at several locations for 12 million euros. Another 15 million euros is available for the construction of heating networks.

The fourth pillar is making public space more sustainable. Nearly 22 million euros have been set aside for, among other things, making public lighting more efficient, installing shore-based power in the port of Scheveningen (which will improve air quality and reduce nitrogen emissions), and the construction of charging stations for electric cars. In order to be able to respond to future developments, the authorities have reserved more than 23 million euros for adaptive policies.

The alderman expects that this use of resources will have major positive consequences for The Hague, among which more jobs and comfortable houses in the short term. As for the medium term (within a decade), a large part of the city should be powered by wind, sun and geothermal energy.

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