The district heating sector is set to play a key role in achieving the ambitious European energy and climate objectives, while contributing to the diversification of energy supply and the deployment of sustainable energy sources. Greenfield investments in district heating networks will be critical in achieving those objectives and the EU Taxonomy will be important for investors to demonstrate and communicate the impact their investments are having.
Asper focuses on private investments in sustainable real assets, including renewable power and district heating networks. Asper has been investing in district heating since 2014 and is partnering with several greenfield developers in Europe to build new district heating networks. The Asper team is strongly engaged with industrial stakeholders on this topic, with several team members regularly contributing to panels and discussions.
We are a partner of EuroHeat & Power and of the Interreg D2Grids project, supporting the development of 5G DHC. After more than two years, the community of district heating and cooling has been brought together again by EuroHeat & Power at two recent conferences. Since collaboration is the key to delivering the energy transition, both conferences brought together policy makers, industry representatives, investors, and the research community.
- 17-19 June, Helsingborg: Allister Sykes, Head of Asper’s Platform Management Team, was invited to be part of a panel discussion at REWARDHeat Conference focussed on Investors perspectives of 5G DHC and to explain how different investors assess the risk and reward profile of greenfield investments in district heating. Allister shared Asper’s experience in the sector and our knowledge of greenfield investments including the need to focus on the end consumers and the customer proposition, how alignment of interest of interest between developers and investors can be achieved and explained the differences between greenfield and brownfield investments from an investor’s perspective.
- 21-22 June, Brussels: Jiska Klein, Sr. Sustainability Manager of Asper, was invited to speak at 2022 Euroheat & Power Conference in a session focused on “Sustainable Investments for Sustainable Heat Networks”. Decarbonising our heat economy will require a remarkable amount of private investments in sustainable and efficient heating infrastructure. In this context, the new EU Taxonomy Regulation could represent a great opportunity to accelerate the transition and modernization of DHC networks. This Regulation should both prevent greenwashing as well as direct both public and private capital towards sustainable investments, to help achieve the Paris Agreement. During the session, we talked about the need of a robust and science-based Taxonomy which reconciles the urge of decarbonising heat sources in Europe. Investors use the EU Taxonomy to assess alignment of their portfolios and investments with net zero, and therefore, it is important not to dilute from science. In order for DHC networks to succeed as a key enabler of the energy transition, a stable and fair regulatory framework that incentivises long-term investment decisions is needed at both the EU and national levels.