Solar Rush In Holland
Government subsidies (650 euro max.), ever lower solar panel prices as well as low VAT tariffs, have induced the Dutch to embrace local production of electricity and harvest kilowatthours simply from their own roofs. Typical investment for 100% selfsufficiency: 4500 euro. In combination with zero net payments to utilities companies (Dutch feed-in tariff system described here), this comes down to a return on investment of a spectacular 17%. Currently a solar kwh costs 7 cent, dramatically lower than the 23 cent for a kwh from the grid. In Holland, the birthplace of modern capitalism (17th century), people can calculate. Currently 100,000 roofs are covered with solar panels, 6.9 million more roofs to go. Timothy John Berners-Lee came up with the HTTP protocol in 1989 and it took six years before the internet started its meteoric rise in 1995. Then it took another six years before the first signs of internet saturation appeared with the popping of the .com bubble in 2001. Holland was always at the global forefront of internet adoption (50% penetration in 2002), and it will not be different with the adoption of solar power, especially as with solar panels money can be made, in contrast to the internet. Although the Germans currently have a clear lead in a per capita adoption of solar compared to Holland, rooted in a geo-strategic motivation of energy independence and rejection of nuclear power, the Dutch will catch up quickly, from a financial motive. Expect financial service companies to emerge offering packages, where it will suffice for a household to make a simple phonecall in order to earn thousands of euro’s, without having to do anything but making coffee for the workers of the solar panel installation company and start paying monthly fees to the financial service company, which will more than compensated by the reduced bills from the utility company. Once two or three roofs in a typical Dutch street are covered with panels, others will follow quickly. Monkey see, monkey do.