‘Bankers earn back millions in tax by investing in wind power’

Former ABN Amro chief executive Rijkman Groenink is among a group of senior banking officials who have been handed back millions of euros by the tax office after investing in sustainable energy, the Volkskrant reports on Saturday.

The paper researched the construction of Europe’s tallest wind turbine – the almost 200 metre high Ambtenaar (civil servant), built just metres away from the Noord-Holland village of Medemblik.

The turbine was sold as an investment object to a group of 21 bankers and financial specialists as a way of cutting their income tax bill, the Volkskrant says. The turbine was also partly funded through government subsidies.

Groenink told the paper many sustainable projects are funded in a similar way. ‘Socially-responsible targets are combined with a reasonable return on investment of 10%,’ he said.

At the same time, locals are angry about the noise made by the turbine, the paper says. The town council official who signed the building permit says now it should never have been built because it does not fit into local zoning laws.