ATP is investing massively in the Danish company Better Energy and solar energy
With a triple-digit million Danish kroner investment in the Danish renewable energy company Better Energy, ATP will be making one of the biggest investments of the year. The investment is part of ATP’s ambition to strengthen the development of Danish-produced green energy and to contribute to the green transition.
In the middle of a European energy crisis and a global climate crisis, ATP is now making a direct investment in a leading Danish developer and owner of solar parks. ATP will now own approximately 15 per cent of Better Energy and will get a seat on the company’s board of directors. The Better Energy venture supports ATP’s desire to use investments to play a significant role in the green transition and the investment also fulfils the primary criteria of ensuring attractive, risk-adjusted returns for members.
“The necessary green transition and the European desire to free itself from reliance on Russian natural gas require a significant expansion of renewable energy sources. The demand is increasing, and there is a need to invest in green energy – also on land. An investment in Better Energy contains opportunities for ATP to generate attractive returns and it will also make a positive contribution to reducing CO2 emissions,” says Mikkel Svenstrup, Chief Investment Officer at ATP.
Number one in solar energy in Northern Europe
Better Energy is one of the fastest-growing suppliers of solar energy in Northern Europe, with a pipeline of over 10 GW large-scale solar parks to supply companies, cities and countries with green energy that reduces CO2 emissions, takes into account biodiversity and is also cheaper than coal, oil and gas.
ATP’s investment is a lever for Better Energy’s continued efforts to scale up , as the company’s portfolio of solar parks owned directly by the company grows.
“In 2020, Better Energy completed the transition from being a developer to a renewable energy company. This means that we will keep owning solar parks directly, and this obviously requires a different level of capital. ATP’s investment will help to ensure and maintain the momentum in all our markets,” says Rasmus Lildholdt Kjær, CEO of Better Energy.
The world urgently needs green energy
“Companies all over the world face an almost insatiable demand for green power if they are to be able to meet their CO2 emission reduction targets. This is the kind of energy that Better Energy is currently part of supplying, but the world needs much more of it. Better Energy is planning for a rapid growth of their green energy production. We believe that this target makes good financial sense,” says Mikkel Svenstrup.
5.5 million Danish co-owners of green energy production
For Better Energy, it has been critical to find an investor that shares its values and who is keen to ensure that the development of solar parks takes place in an optimal manner, explains Rasmus Lildholdt Kjær:
“It was a big plus for us that ATP is all of Denmark’s pension company. During our talks, we have spent a lot of time ensuring that we are a good match, and we appreciate and believe that we can live up to the great responsibility that comes with 5.5 million people in Denmark being co-owners of our solar parks.”
For ATP, Better Energy’s approach with an early involvement of local communities and local value creation – for example, protecting groundwater, initiatives to restore nature and promote biodiversity and establishing recreational areas – has been a big plus.
“We are faced with a major change to Europe’s energy systems, and we will be living with the decisions that we make now for many years in the future. Better Energy has demonstrated that they consider both the local value creation of the solar parks and the projects’ place in the greater electrical system,” says Mikkel Svenstrup.
- Better Energy is a Danish renewable energy company that develops, builds, operates and sells electricity from solar parks. Denmark, Poland, Sweden and Finland are the company’s current key markets.
- In a partnership with Industriens Pension, Better Energy owns more than 1 GW of green energy production in the form of 21 solar parks (16 in Denmark and 5 in Poland) with a total acquisition cost of DKK 5bn.
- Better Energy is working in a targeted manner and has made a great deal of progress in the ongoing development of existing markets outside of Denmark, and its presence in Poland, Sweden and Finland will be strengthened in the coming years.
- The company’s revenue was DKK 1.6bn in 2021 and it has a 10 GW pipeline of planned solar park projects. The ambition is to grow the project pipeline to 20 GW between now and 2025.
- Better Energy was founded in 2012 by Rasmus Lildholdt Kjær and Mark Augustenborg Ødum. Together with Mikkel Dau Jacobsen and Michael Vater, they remain co-owners of Better Energy and a number of key executives also have small ownership stakes. In 2019, the French capital fund Omnes invested a triple-digit Danish kroner amount in an ownership stake.