DOEN is helping to combat further climate change by directing its attention to reducing CO2 emissions. To achieve this, DOEN will over the next few years be supporting initiatives in the area of sustainable energy. Within this area, DOEN focuses on frontrunners with a business model. Within the Netherlands we are looking for pioneers in the field of sustainable energy and energy saving; moreover we finance initiatives that focus on access to sustainable energy in Africa and Asia. With this programme, DOEN shows that solutions can be practical, efficient and payable.

The energy world is in a state of flux and the landscape will change beyond recognition. The demand for innovative solutions and clever (technical) applications for a sustainable society is pressing. DOEN finances projects that will accelerate the transition to a more sustainable society. Within the Sustainable Energy programme, DOEN therefore concentrates on the following activities:

1) Innovative enterprises in the Netherlands dedicated to facilitating access to sustainable energy, enabling consumers themselves to generate sustainable energy and save energy. The need for sustainable energy in the Netherlands is growing. DOEN is conscious of a shortage of start-up capital for sustainable energy initiatives, inadequate infrastructure and the fact that the present legislation and regulations slow down the realisation of projects. DOEN therefore endeavours to remove these obstacles by financing initiatives that offer solutions to these issues.

2) Innovative enterprises in developing economies dedicated to facilitating access to sustainable energy, enabling consumers themselves to generate sustainable energy and save energy. In developing economies consumers still have extremely limited access to sustainable energy and almost no opportunity to generate sustainable energy themselves. DOEN finances initiatives in East Africa and South East Asia, preferably India, that give consumers access to sustainable energy and initiatives that enable them to generate energy themselves.

A few examples:


With the contribution from the National Postcode Lottery, for over a decade, DOEN Foundation has been supporting initiatives in the field of renewable energy at home and abroad. The aim is to reduce CO2 emissions and thereby combat further climate change. Research agency Ecorys examined the impact of 67 of the initiatives that received DOEN support in the past ten years. The study shows that worldwide some 635,000 households were given access to sustainable energy through these projects. In five years time, a CO2 saving of 1,5 million tonnes was achieved.

In 2020 Avance made an analysis of the DOEN sustainable energy portfolio in developing markets. As a result, they formulated 8 lessons to improve your business practices. Read more here.


DOEN focuses on initiatives that have passed the “proof of concept” phase and are close to market introduction. In addition to their sustainable objective, the enterprises that DOEN supports also have a commercial objective. They should have some type of revenue model. The most important criteria that the initiatives should satisfy are as follows:
- Strong entrepreneurship
- Innovation
- Social or sustainable impact
- Scalability

See also the criteria accompanying the Sustainable Energy programme.

Applying to DOEN?
Sustainable Energy considers applications from the Netherlands and developing economies, with a specific preference for East Africa and India. Would you like to find out more or ask a question? Send an e-mail to Mireille Spanjaard,


Mireille Spanjaard
Mireille Spanjaard

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