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Netherlands to issue green bonds worth up to €6 billion

On May 21, the triple-A rated nation will issue 20-year bonds for sustainable investments undertaken by its government. Eligible projects will include large scale renewable energy plants developed under the SDE+ incentive program.

The government of the Netherlands has announced its first green bond, with a volume of €4-6 billion, will be issued on May 21.

That marks a raised ambition since the government announced in November it was planning to raise €3.5-5 billion through green bonds annually, starting this year.

The net proceeds of the first bond will be used for sustainable, climate-related expenditure and investment by the government, an official statement confirmed.

Four types of project will be eligible for green bond backing, including large scale renewable energy projects developed under the Netherlands’ SDE+ incentive program. Bond proceeds can also be used to back energy efficiency projects, clean transportation and other initiatives aimed at fighting climate change.

“Eligible green expenditures include expenditures from the entire budget year preceding the issuance, the budget year of issuance and future budget years,” the government said, with the Netherlands’ State Treasury Agency stating it plans to devote up to half the proceeds to expenditure in the budget year of issuance or future fiscal years.

“Within a few years after the initial issuance, the bond will be tapped to a benchmark size of approximately €10 billion, as is regular practice for longer-dated [green bonds],” the government added.

Plans for solar

In March, the Netherlands government unveiled a plan to develop large scale solar projects on its property as part of its agenda for the Energieakkoord voor duurzame groei, an agreement reached in 2013 with 40 Dutch organizations that is related to energy efficiency, sustainable energy and climate measures. “We are currently considering the construction of six or seven pilot solar projects with a power range of 80 MW to 100 MW each,” the government said at the time.

Water management agency the Rijkswaterstaat – part of the Dutch Ministry of Infrastructure and the Environment – in March 2018 announced a plan to use its water and land surfaces to host PV and other renewable energy plants. Since then, the agency has been engaged in multiple PV projects including a huge floating solar project at the Port of Rotterdam and solar noise barriers along highways.

National railway network operator ProRail has said it would support large scale solar and renewable energy projects on its estate.

This article appeared first in PV Magazine