Dutch solar sales increase by 70%

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Importers as well as installers have reported an increase of at least 70% in sales from 2014 according to Dutch media BNR – the reason being the clarity in taxes and subsidies that has come about in the Netherlands. The Netherlands was in the bottom five according to eurostat based on proportion of electrcitiy generated from renewable sources in 2013. However efforts started picking up after a Dutch court in June this year ordered the government to cut greenhouse gas emissions by at least 25% by 2020.

Citizens win

The case was brought to court by almost 900 Dutch citizens represented by Urgenda, a sustainability foundation. Urgenda stated that "the Netherlands had a duty of care to its citizens and to improve the environment". This landmark case led to the Dutch government agreeing to close coal plants and increase wind and solar energy as well as reduce gas extraction activity in the north.

The Dutch boom

According to Peter Desmet, CEO of wholesale company Solarclarity, sales increases of 70 to 100% over 2014 are being seen in the Netherlands, and this is a result of the simplification of regulation with regards to subsidies and import tariffs. Desmet adds that prices are not expected to decrease though. In his interview with BNR he states that as the EU has set a minimum import price on Chinese panels, which account for 8 out of 10 panels sold, a price decrease is unlikely in the near future.

Nevertheless, this year Desmet expects some 2 million solar panels to be sold. Uncertainty about the future of subsidies and policy kept consumers away last year. A large number of buyers are expected to be smaller home-owners who will benefit from switching to solar power.