Opportunities for companies: combining TESs and solar panels
In the quest to making existing real estate more sustainable, two key technologies have emerged as game-changers: Thermal Energy Storage-systems (TESs or ‘WKO-systemen’) and solar panels. These technologies can serve as integral components in the transformation of buildings into sustainable assets.
TESs leverage the earth's stable temperature to provide heating, cooling, and hot water for buildings. Retrofitting existing buildings with TESs offers the opportunity of replacing aging and inefficient central heating and HVAC systems (heating ventilating and air conditioning) with a sustainable alternative. While the upfront costs can be substantial, the long-term energy savings and reduced carbon footprint can make it a worthwhile investment. Additionally, governments often provide incentives and subsidies to encourage the adoption of TES technology.
Solar panels are a cornerstone of sustainability efforts in real estate, as they reduce a building's reliance on the grid, lower energy bills and mitigate carbon emissions. Installing solar panels on roofs and adjacent land can also provide additional benefits, such as feeding excess energy back into the grid for additional savings and potential income, although the latter is problematic now due to congestion of the grid. Alternatives, such as the use of batteries, are currently being explored in the market.
The synergy between TESs and solar panels is particularly compelling. TESs provide energy-efficient heating and cooling, while solar panels generate clean electricity. Together, they can create a holistic and sustainable energy system for a building.
The role of companies: taking a proactive stance
In the realm of sustainability, the onus is increasingly on companies to take a proactive stance in transforming real estate. It is imperative for corporate leaders to set ambitious yet realistic sustainability goals, as companies are both catalysts for change and subjects of scrutiny. Their actions, or lack of them, affect their own bottom line as well as the global effort to combat climate change and promote sustainable practices.
Therefore, real estate investors and project funders will increasingly want to see proof and legal confirmation of the ESG elements of project. Companies that embrace their role in advancing real estate sustainability will benefit not only in terms of reputation, but also in contributing to a greener and more resilient future.
As a firm with extensive knowledge on the parallels between property law and sustainability, we provide our clients with tailored advice on all legal aspects of the sustainability transition of their real estate, from permitting to contracting and property law structuring to (green) financing.
What it means for you:
- Review your asset portfolio in light of your corporate climate policy and goals for transparency and accountability.
- Develop a comprehensive plan to improve the sustainability of key assets with customised recommendations on how to make your current real estate more environmentally friendly, reducing carbon emissions, and cutting energy costs.
- Seek legal advice on the regulatory requirements that apply to your asset portfolio and the opportunities to invest in a more sustainable future.
Spotlight on ESG developments:
Despite the obvious importance of ESG governance, risk management and compliance, it can be challenging to anticipate the new regulations and assess how they may impact the organisation and its operations, customers and value chain.
Sustainability reporting and disclosure have become vital as businesses and investors alike strive for transparency and compliance with ESG regulations and policies. Keeping up to date with the latest developments is crucial in order to stay ahead in today's rapidly evolving landscape.
From climate change lawsuits to consumer complaints about greenwashing: it's is important to be aware of the potential threats posed by ESG claims and litigation.
Our Sustainable Business & Climate Change team
- Gaike Dalenoord | partner Corporate M&A. Focus on chemicals and hydrogen
- Frans van der Eerden | partner Financial Law. Focus on financial regulatory & sustainability
- Marieke Faber | partner Dispute Resolution. Focus on climate litigation and sustainability strategy
- Maartje Govaert | partner Employment & Pensions. Focus on the social pillar of ESG (employment law matters)
- Harm Kerstholt | partner Corporate M&A. Focus on Energy, ESG Due Diligence, and human rights
- Iris Kieft | partner Public & Regulatory. Focus on public regulatory, energy, climate change and the circular economy
- Suzanne Kröner-Rosmalen | counsel Corporate Governance. Focus on ESG disclosures and strategy
- Geert Raaijmakers | partner Corporate Governance. Focus on sustainable corporate governance
- Arjan Scheltema | partner Finance. Focus on Green Bonds, Green Covered Bonds, Green Securitisations and Energy Efficient Mortgages (HUB)
- Freerk Vermeulen | partner Dispute Resolution and head of the Supreme Court Litigation Team. Focus on climate litigation and sustainability strategy
- David Wumkes | partner Real Estate & Infrastructure | Focus on real estate, substainability and energy projects
- Petra Zijp | partner Capital Markets. Focus on green bonds and ESG linked issuances
View all issues of ESG Matters
- February 2024: Extending and strengthening the Emissions Trading System (EU ETS)
- January 2024: the Belgian climate case (Klimaatzaak)
- December 2023: Giving substance to the ‘S’ by ensuring a safe working environment
- November 2023: Sustainability supervision in the financial sector
- October 2023: Building a sustainable real estate industry
- July 2023: Corporate sustainability reporting
- June 2023: Impact litigation
- May 2023: EU proposals to tackle greenwashing