02 July 2020

New cost-competitive source of financing for Danish solar energy

A new green partnership between Better Energy and Nykredit will accelerate the green transition by introducing Danish solar plants to the classic Danish mortgage model. This is the first time in Denmark that solar plants are financed by mortgage loans.

Better Energy has developed a strong model for establishing and operating large-scale solar plants that produce renewable energy completely without government support. Over the next few years, the construction of several solar plants will contribute significantly to the green transition while at the same time strengthening biodiversity in and around the solar plants.

“Since 2015, Better Energy has worked intensively towards producing solar energy in Denmark on market terms and last year we succeeded. Today, our large-scale solar plants are the most commercially scalable renewable energy potential available in Denmark. Mortgage lending is an important instrument in financing and realising this potential. This is a recipe for success that really speeds up the green transition,” says Better Energy CEO Rasmus Lildholdt Kjær and continues:

“In order to achieve our objectives for the green transition, we need commercial and scalable solutions. This applies to the financial aspect as well, which means that the financial sector in Denmark plays an important role. The access to cost-competitive and long-term financing is vital. The possibility of financing our solar plants through mortgage loans, which has been made possible by our cooperation with Nykredit, is extremely important.”

The Danish government and parliament have set goals of a 70% reduction of CO2 emissions by 2030 compared to 1990. This objective requires a significant expansion of renewable energy driven by large-scale solar plants and wind turbines. More specifically, the energy and utility sector estimates that Denmark’s total electricity needs will double from 35 TWh in 2019 to 71 TWh in 2030. This implies a substantial need for investments and financing.

“Mortgage lending is a unique form of financing that is hardly found anywhere else in the world and that has also helped drive the development of other sectors by ensuring cost-competitive financing. Nykredit was amongst the very first to finance wind turbines, the electricity grid and fibre-optic broadband through mortgage loans, and now Nykredit is also behind the financing of Better Energy’s solar plants, thereby opening up a new market for a cost-competitive source of financing for green energy. Nykredit sees great potential in taking responsibility for the green transition by securing the appropriate financing,” says Tonny Thierry Andersen, Group Managing Director of Nykredit, and continues:

“As Denmark’s largest bank owned by an association of customers, we will contribute to the green transition in whatever way we can. Being the country’s largest mortgage provider, we see this as our responsibility, and this is an area where we can truly make a difference. We are very proud that for the first time, it is now also possible to finance solar plants through mortgage loans.”

The first three Better Energy solar plants to be financed by mortgage loans from Nykredit supply global bioscience company Chr. Hansen and the Danish capital Copenhagen with green energy. Two of the solar plants that supply Chr. Hansen with electricity will continue to be owned by Better Energy, whereas the third solar plant, which contributes part of the energy supply to Copenhagen, has been divested to HOFOR, the capital’s utility company. The three solar plants supply electricity equal to the annual electricity consumption of 19,000 Danish households.