Last year, the conflict between Russia and Ukraine had sparked a debate in Europe about the European energy mix that continues to this day. Many still say that Europe is too dependent on Russian natural gas. While others say that Europe should look for alternative suppliers, such as the United States, Algeria, and some Middle Eastern countries. However, alternative gas suppliers leave Europe dependent on others. One promising opportunity is to consider investing in real estate and commercial buildings as a solution to the European energy issue.

Until now, real estate developers focused primarily on increasing the energy efficiency of their projects. Alternatively, it may be best to focus more on the role of real estate as an energy producer. Decentralized energy production on the level of individual buildings is a real possibility and will be a valuable addition to our current energy mix.

Consider investing in real estate and commercial buildings as a solution to the European energy issue.
Guus Berkhout
Nieuwe Kanaal I, Wageningen
Nieuwe Kanaal I, Wageningen

Green lease concept

The driver behind the Green Lease Concept is not just CO2 reduction. Commercial parties may also benefit from an increased cash flow. The introduction of the concept has actually pushed the fund in the direction of becoming a utility. This is a logical step in reducing energy use and CO2 emissions. In addition, the investor benefits from such reductions, as these improve his cash flow. The utility, on the other hand, sees its revenues decline as a result of lower demand. It therefore does not make sense to give a reduction target to a utility.

Energy producing real estate

The question is how to make this technically possible? More isolation, more efficient warmth/cold storage or more solar panels are not enough. We need new concepts, such as the energy-producing rooftops that were developed at Agricultural University Wageningen. To stimulate our thinking on new concepts, Triodos Real Estate Fund initiated a think-tank, in cooperation with a national grid company. They, too, realize that decentralized, sustainable energy production at the building level is the future.

Guus Berkhout
Guus Berkhout

Triodos Vastgoedfonds

Triodos Vastgoedfonds is the first sustainbly listed property fund in Europe. The closed-end fund invests in sustainbly constructed or managed property and monument buildings. The fund mainly focuses on commercial real estate, which includes offices and industrial property. The fund may also invest in other types of property, such as schools and care centres. Most of the properties that the fund invests in are located in the Netherlands. Property is acquired and managed in co-operation with Bouwfonds Real Estate Investment Management.

For an overview of our strategies in real estate, please visit the Triodos Vastgoedfonds page