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Path to net zero is best split into steps says energy expert

Asset managers should aim to reach their 2050 net-zero targets in two stages otherwise the payback period could be unnecessarily long owing to the pace of technological change according to Philip Blaauw, CEO and Founder of Dutch energy services provider Innax.

“Technology is developing rapidly on all fronts – on insulation, on heat pumps, on solar panels, on hydrogen,” said Blaauw. “If you try to take one step you get payback periods of 50 to 100 years. So do a two-step approach, the first to 2030 then to 2050.”

Innax, now in its thirtieth year, is an energy services provider for buildings.

“We are what they call a system integrator, so we provide all the services around sustainable energy for buildings, from the engineering, financing, realisation and then also exploitation.”

Blaauw said that an asset manager beginning a sustainability programme first needs to have a grasp of energy flows through metering and monitoring, then on the investment into that sustainability programme, he told Ron van Bloois who spoke to him on behalf of Real Asset Insight during the recent Provada property show in Amsterdam.

Blaauw added that sharing this data with tenants means it is possible to work together to reduce energy consumption.

Innax also provides energy as a service, enabling asset managers to focus on the real estate rather than the non-core areas of energy infrastructure.

“Often there are fiscal reasons why an asset management company cannot receive income other than rent, so we set up energy SPVs (special purpose vehicles) for a building or for a portfolio.”

The SPV attracts capital, tenants can be supplied with energy as a service and the write down can be shared between tenant and property owner.

Blaauw said this is done on an “open-book” basis and the advantage for the tenant is guaranteed. “That puts everybody in positive cooperation mode instead of having split incentives. You get cooperation instead of opposition.”

Click on the video to watch the full interview or listen to the podcast below.

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