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Netherlands doubles rooftop solar panels in a year

During the past year more than 100,000 solar panels were installed on new roofs in the Netherlands, bringing the total number close to 200,000.

The Dutch network operators recorded 101,326 new installations in 2013, the majority at private homes. These have a combined capacity of over 300 MW. In comparison, in the United States, there were only 140,000 installations in 2013, also mostly residential. The total wattage in the Netherlands increased by 82% from 365 to 665 MW. The actual growth rate is probably even higher because operators do not register all capacity in the Netherlands.

The largest growth in the Netherlands is in the solar panels on the roofs of private homes. “A phenomenon that you see in other international growth markets as well. It is motivating to see that your neighbour has this. You do not want to lag behind,” Edwin Koot, CEO of Solarplaza, says. “Moreover, in the Netherlands it is currently more profitable to invest on your roof than to put it in a bank account. In this case you would rather take the lead and show that you are investing in eco-friendly solutions.”

The growth is further fuelled by corporate procurement actions, which cause the low price of solar panels to drop further, and the now more than 300 local cooperatives and civil initiatives. This means that people work together to get larger systems installed in a variety of buildings, from schools to business rooftops.

The increased demand for solar panels provide more jobs for suppliers and contractors. The Netherlands now has more than 1,100 suppliers of solar systems, some 300 more than the 800 that were reported last May.

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