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The modern world depends on energy for everyday needs from cooking appliances to heating, lighting and transportation.

Here’s an insight into our power generation lending activities. We provide our views on various ways energy is generated, energy efficiency and on our own power consumption.

Renewable energy

About 80% of energy used today is fossil-fuel based. The best way to reduce society’s use of fossil fuels is to make sure there are enough affordable green alternatives available.

In December 2023, ING announced that we aim to triple our financing of renewable power generation to €7.5 billion annually by 2025, up from €2.5 billion in 2022. This follows the agreement made by governments at COP28 and the guidance provided by the IEA that renewable power generation must triple in capacity by 2030 to meet net-zero goals. Our new target, which is five years ahead of the COP28 guidance, replaces the previous target of increasing renewables financing by 50% by 2025 from the €1.5 billion base in 2021.


Ahead of the Paris Climate Conference in 2015, we decided to stop financing new coal-fired power plants (excluding a standing commitment to the project Cirebon II in Indonesia). We have since declined multiple coal-related projects and transactions.

In December 2017, ING decided to accelerate the reduction of our financing to coal power generation, committing to reduce our exposure to close to zero by 2025. As a result of these policies, lending to individual coal-fired power plants decreased by over 80% to €87 million by year-end 2021.

By the end of 2025, we will no longer finance clients in the utilities sector that are over 5% reliant on coal. We will, however, continue to finance non-coal energy projects for these clients in support of their energy transition.

Coal in the steel industry

The type of coal used in power generation is called thermal coal, which can be readily substituted by renewables or gas while clients transition to renewables such as wind and solar. When smelting steel, however, a different kind of coal is used to fire up the process: coking (or metallurgical) coal. The steel industry cannot do without this type of coal yet, but ING is taking steps to support the decarbonisation of this sector, including measures to lower our exposure to coking coal.

ING led the development of the framework for the Sustainable STEEL Principles, which enables lenders to support the decarbonisation of the steel sector in 2022, and is acting as a leading financial structurer for the world’s first green steel plant utilising hydrogen rather than coking coal.

ING decided to no longer provide dedicated finance to new coking (metallurgical) coal mines or the expansion of existing coking coal mines in 2023. We will take an engagement-based approach for clients that are involved in operating coking coal mines, asking them to explain to us how they plan to align with 1.5-degree Celsius goals on time.

And in line with our stance on coking coal mines, we also decided to no longer provide new dedicated finance for new unabated blast furnaces or the life extension of existing unabated blast furnaces for steel making.

Nuclear energy

Nuclear energy has a small carbon footprint, but there are negative nuclear waste-related environmental impacts, as well as safety risks with very high impact. In principle, our policy allows us to finance nuclear energy. However, we’ve not yet been directly involved in financing individual nuclear power plants. We apply strict standards for loans to utility companies operating nuclear power plants, capturing the risks related to reactor technology, potential earthquakes and political and economic stability in the country where they’re located.

Geothermal power

Geothermal power is renewable energy that is created by the difference in temperature between the earth’s surface and heat reservoirs deep under the ground. This type of energy is generated in Indonesia and Iceland, as well as in Belgium and the Netherlands where it’s mainly used to heat buildings and greenhouses. ING finances these types of projects globally.


Sustainable hydrogen plays a significant role in the energy transition, especially for sectors that are more difficult to decarbonise, like transport/logistics and steel. However, even with investment growing, hydrogen still faces challenges. Producing hydrogen from low-carbon energy remains expensive, while issues remain with regards to storage and transport infrastructure, which is holding back widespread adoption.

We support a number of pilot projects in hydrogen and are closely following technology developments. We will continue to work with our clients on the development and financing of hydrogen.

Energy efficiency

Using less energy saves costs and decreases CO2, which is better for the environment. We’re committed to helping our clients in all sectors transition their businesses to be more energy efficient. Besides that we can all benefit from conserving energy, it’s an important step in combating climate change.

Our own energy footprint

We want to lead the way when it comes to energy efficiency and renewable energy production. To do so, we monitor and manage our own environmental impact closely. We’ve reduced our overall energy consumption and aim to source 100% renewable electricity for the buildings where we have management control using purchase agreements and renewable energy certificates (RECs). See our operations section for more info.

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