5 May 2009


Dutch entrepreneurs warm to solar energy

Hermann Scheer gave an inspirational talk at the conference about the necessity and inevitability of investing in solar energy. The traditional energy companies will not be able to prevent self-generated (solar) power from becoming as commonplace as laptops are today. And the traditional computer technology companies did not anticipate that development initially. Edwin Koot from Solarplaza showed that the PV market is still only in the very early stages of its development. He said: "Within three years, solar energy will be a cheaper alternative to energy from the grid in southern countries, without subsidies. Over 10 years, the worldwide trade in solar energy will be worth over 200 billion euros". The founding father of solar energy in the Netherlands, Professor Wim Sinke, and CEO Harold Hoskens from Chinese solar panel manufacturer Solarfun, both emphasized that it is a myth that solar energy only becomes attractive as efficiency increases: "Solar energy becomes competitive by upscaling production and this is determined by market volume".

Dutch homeowners and corporations are also keen to quickly take up solar energy. The subsidy scheme that came in on 6 April immediately "sold out" the same day. Allocation of a feed-in tariff for solar energy generated, up to a maximum of 20 MegaWatt in 2009, will now be determined by lot. "That is no basis for developing a market and an insufficient basis for a business case for new companies" said Dennis Gieselaar, solar energy entrepreneur and chairman of the solar energy division of industry association Holland Solar. This is why most of the speakers at the conference were entrepreneurs experiencing success abroad in this fast-growing industry.



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