Dutch government sets up €100 million fund for PV in schools

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A Dutch foundation committed to bringing rooftop solar to the Netherlands’ school buildings has announced it has reached agreement with the government and the Bank Nederlandse Gemeenten (BNG) – a lender devoted to enabling the public sector achieve social objectives – to set up a €100 million fund to support school PV.

According to the Dutch association of school principals, the Algemene Vereniging Schoolleiders, the scheme being driven by Stichting Schooldakrevolutie will offer all schools without a rooftop PV system – around 6,000 out of 7,000 – a low interest loan to fully finance projects. The funds are expected to be available from February.

Stichting Schooldakrevolutie said it hopes local municipalities will help schools secure approval for projects, to avoid them having to arrange permits themselves.

“We are going to offer loans for a very long period and at very low interest rates, so that schools can invest in solar panels and LED lighting without having to bring in money themselves, and can start saving immediately,” Roebyem Anders, of Stichting Schooldakrevolutie, told Dutch national TV channel NOS.

Mr. Anders said a school installing a minimum of 200 PV modules could save around €6,000 in electricity bills annually, “which is of course a good budget that you can spend on introducing sustainability in education,” he added.

Although such schemes may see marginal advances in installed capacity, it is hoped they will raise awareness of solar power among future generations.

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