10 December 2021

Green power purchase agreement brings the financial sector closer to climate goals

Nykredit, Spar Nord, Lollands Bank, Faster Andelskasse, Merkur Andelskasse, Merkur Klimafond, Sparekassen Nørre Nebel and JN Data, who delivers IT infrastructure to the financial sector, have joined forces in an agreement to purchase green electricity from the energy company Better Energy. The power purchase agreement involves Better Energy building a new solar park.

Green electricity is not just green electricity. Green electricity can originate from existing power plants that are receiving government funding, or it can originate from new subsidy-free renewable energy. With the new partnership it will be new additional green power, which will supply the companies’ electricity consumption.

“In Nykredit, we are really pleased that we, together with several financial partners, can now work together to get green energy from Better Energy. It shows that we can accomplish more when we come together in groups. Nykredit is owned by an association of customers - Forenet Kredit. That is why we want to take part in the society of which we are a part, and at the same time, we have an ambition to contribute to a greener Denmark. We do this by providing our customers with a wide range of green benefits. But we also have a strong focus on how to reduce our own CO2 emissions. We have lowered our emissions significantly in recent years. And with the new green power purchase agreement, we ensure that the electricity we use to operate all our locations comes from a newly established green power source in 2023,” says Martin Von Horsten, deputy director of Nykredit and head of procurement and facility management.

“The climate goals for both 2025 and 2030 depend on us having enough green electricity to cover the needs that come with an extensive electrification of society. Therefore, it is also a big step in the right direction that Nykredit, Spar Nord, Lollands Bank, Faster Andelskasse, Merkur Andelskasse, Merkur Klimafond, Sparekassen Nørre Nebel and JN Data joins forces on a power purchase agreement, which has a real effect on the construction of new renewable energy. In this way it is those who consume the electricity who also are a part of increasing the Danish green energy production”, explains Better Energy CEO Rasmus Lildholdt Kjær and notes that one of the easiest ways to accelerate the green transition is by buying new additional green energy instead of merely buying green certificates from existing power plants.

There is also great enthusiasm in Merkur.Director Jesper Kromann from the commercial Merkur Klimafond, which sets up charging stations for electric cars around the country, says:

“Merkur is CO2 neutral because we set the bar for sustainability high in our purchases of everything, of course also of electricity. Therefore, it is crucial for us that the power in our charging stations is the greenest available on the market. The agreement with Better Energy also means the construction of a solar park, which is another green accomplishment that we are pleased with.”

JN Data is the largest contributor to the agreement with Better Energy, and the company will cover their electricity consumption with green electricity. This benefits JN Data and the community with the owners Nykredit, Jyske Bank, SDC, BEC and Bankdata, of which JN Data is a part.

“The agreement with Better Energy is aligned with our green initiatives, where since 2017 we have sent surplus heat to the district heating network and since 2020 been powered by 100 % green power through wind turbine certificates. We are now taking the next step on the journey by investing further in sustainability and reducing our climate footprint by buying green electricity from a new solar park in Denmark. JN Data is a major consumer of electricity. I am incredibly proud that we can now offer customers, in up to half of the financial sector, a further strengthening of green operation of their IT infrastructure in the form of the establishment of a huge solar park,” says Søren Lindgaard, Managing Director of JN Data.

It has been a deciding factor for the various financial institutions to contribute to the green transition and this is why it has been necessary to enter a binding partnership, which is big enough to ensure the construction of a new solar park. 

The district plan for the solar park was approved in September 2021 and is the culmination of more than two years’ of preparation. With the power purchase agreement Better Energy can finance and start the construction of the solar park, which is expected to be completed by the end of 2022.

The solar park will produce enough green electricity to supply the annual average consumption of roughly 32.000 Danes. The district plan also shows that the solar park is expected to have a positive effect on nature preservation interests, as the park improves conditions for nearby nature areas.

Solar power has a crucial role moving forward to 2025

Denmark’s climate goals for 2025 includes reducing CO2 emissions with a minimum of 50 pct, compared to the 1990 level. Leading up to 2025 the Danish Energy Agency expects solar power to deliver the largest contribution to the increase of the Danish renewable production capacity. 72 pct of the green production capacity is expected to come from solar power. Offshore and onshore wind is expected to contribute 20 pct and 8 pct respectively, in the coming four years.

"At Spar Nord, we want to take specific responsibility for helping to reduce environmental impact. We have long had a strategic focus on reducing our CO2 emissions by, e.g., establishing a consumption control system and choosing greener operating solutions for electricity, water and heating. By entering into a power purchase agreement and contributing to the construction of a new solar park in Denmark, we are helping to take an important step in a greener direction. Not only for the bank but also society in a broader sense," says director of Facility Management at Spar Nord, Lea Magnusson.

Last year, the government's climate partnership for the financial sector released a plan for how the sector could reduce CO2 emissions itself. In this, one of the central recommendations was that banks and financial institutions should purchase certified green electricity, which contributes to the construction of new energy production.