Solar Panels Planet

Want to buy solar panels? And do you want to know more about it? On this site you will find all sorts of information on this subject. You can see what the costs are, the potential yield, the payback time, info about installing and maintaining the panels, subsidy, VAT, solar water heaters, solar collectors, heat pumps and much more!

The costs

It is important that you know what the costs are. Based on that, you can calculate how much return you can get on your solar panels.

Discover the yield
Zonnepanelen park

Supplying power back to us

When solar panels are connected to the electricity grid, it is called a grid-connected PV system. Such a system is generally used for homes and businesses. Surplus electricity – which is not used within the house or building – can be fed back into the grid.

Through the balancing scheme, for small consumers (with a main fuse of up to 3 x 80 ampere) this is offset against the electricity purchased from the energy supplier. In 2023, the net metering scheme will be replaced by a subsidy for feed-in tariffs. For large-scale consumers there are other incentive schemes, such as the SDE+ scheme.

Differences between the energy suppliers

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When it comes to the feed-in of electricity, there appears to be a tremendous difference between the various energy suppliers. Not only does one supplier calculate an amount including VAT and another excluding VAT, but the amount that you receive back per delivered kWh also differs significantly.

Where Main Energie pays only € 0.03 for the off-peak tariff, Pure Energie gives you € 0.12 per kWh for the first 1,500 kWh that you feed back. That makes it extra interesting as an ‘electricity producer’ to shop around carefully.

Apart from the large differences in compensation, the energy suppliers also deal with the balancing regime differently. One first offsets the kWh supplied against the off-peak tariff, the other against the high tariff. Finally, everyone has to pay a monthly fee, the fixed delivery charge, which varies with each supplier. The cheapest charges € 2.42 per month, the most expensive € 8.75 with a model contract.

A handy overview was made in May 2018 by the Consumers’ Association. For the details click here.

Want to know what the current situation is if you are about to switch? Then this page is very interesting: https://www.consumentenbond.nl/energie-vergelijken/vergelijker

Read more?

More independent, reliable and practical information about solar panels can be found at the information organization Milieu Centraal. This organisation was set up in 1998 on the recommendation of central government.

On the solar panel portal of Milieu Centraal all the information is listed. Milieu Centraal also collaborated with Holland Solar, the trade association for the Dutch solar energy sector. The portal provides the information you need as a home owner, tenant, member of an association of owners (VvE) or as a small and medium-sized enterprise (SME).

In addition, you can visit the website “Verbeterjehuis” which is part of the national promotional campaign of the government. This campaign focuses on private homeowners and VvEs.

What are the benefits of solar panels?

Do you have all the benefits clearly in mind? We have listed them for you below:

Contribute to the production of sustainable energy.

The benefits are clear.
More and more people are becoming aware that it is important that we deal with our energy in a different way. By using solar panels you contribute to a better environment. Solar energy is sustainable energy, an inexhaustible source. Moreover, no CO2 is released in the production of solar energy.

Did you know that the production of solar panels costs as much CO2 as the CO2 savings from 2 to 3 years of solar energy generation? The CO2 savings of an average installation is no less than 1400 kg per year. On average, the panels last 30 years, so this is a good way to generate energy without emissions.

In addition, panels on your roof cause no noise, unlike windmills. The environmental arguments are for most people, next to the financial arguments, therefore an important reason to buy solar panels.

Independent from energy suppliers

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Because you are able to generate your own energy, you are no longer dependent on your energy suppliers. This also means that you are no longer dependent on:

  • Increases in the price of electricity;
  • Rising taxes;
  • Storage facilities for energy, etc.
  • .

Annual switching of energy supplier is also no longer necessary. Energy suppliers are obliged to reimburse the first 5,000 kWh that you supply to them. Some do not reimburse the excess or at a lower rate. Others take unlimited quantities without price consequences. Make sure you choose the right energy supplier if you supply considerably more than the 5,000 KWh per year.

Do you supply energy back to the grid? Then you need a smart meter. This allows the energy company to remotely read how much power you take from the grid and how much you supply to the grid. The installer of the solar panels takes care of this for you with your energy supplier.

Panels are very cost effective

The rapidly falling prices of solar panels make it very profitable to invest. The average payback period is 7 years. Because these days you can also reclaim the VAT on your investment in panels, you can sometimes earn back your solar energy system in as little as 6 years. This of course depends on the size of the total system, the type of roof on which the panels are located and the location of the roof. Compare that with the interest you get on your savings at the bank. Then it is not a difficult choice where you can best put your money to work. Moreover, the downside risks are also limited. The sun will also rise tomorrow and the day after, and we will need electricity for a long time. And if you produce more electricity than you need, energy companies are obliged to buy it back from you for the same fee as they charge you per kWh. This is the so-called net metering regulation.

Poor maintenance

Solar panels require little maintenance. 1 or 2 times a year cleaning or rinsing to maintain efficiency. They have no rotating parts unlike windmills. They deliver their power for 30 years, even on cloudy days.

Increase the value of your home

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Solar panels contribute to an energy-neutral home. This increases the value of your home, because when you sell it the new resident has significantly lower housing costs. Also, a house with panels has a more favorable energy label. This energy label is mandatory since January 1, 2015 if you want to buy, sell or rent a house. If a new buyer is not interested, you can simply take the panels with you and install them in your new home. A permit is also not required to install solar panels, unless you have a monument or property that is designated as a protected town or villagescape.

Subsidy or cheap loan possible

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Many municipalities and provinces encourage the purchase of solar panels. One province (Drenthe, for example) provides loans for this purpose at a very low interest rate, other governments subsidize the purchase. Although a generic, national subsidy is no longer an option, there are sometimes still interesting opportunities at the local or regional level. Read more about this under the heading subsidy.

Should the prefix be adjusted?

In 2020, solar panels again yielded more than the long-term average, as they did in 2018 and 2019. The question is whether the use of one core number used to calculate the annual yield is still correct. The same question is asked of researcher Wilfried van Sark of Utrecht University. “The use of 1 key figure has to be shaken up, and in practice that is happening immediately.”

The Protocol on Monitoring Renewable Energy is the basis for monitoring in the Netherlands. This includes, for example, the way in which Statistics Netherlands calculates the amount of renewable energy production in the Netherlands.

An important element is the prefix, which expresses the specific yield of all Dutch solar panels under standard conditions. The key figure is expressed in the amount of annual energy produced (kilowatt hours) per capacity of a PV panel (kilowatt peak).

Relatively little is known about the actual electricity production of solar power systems on residential roofs. Much more data is known of the registered PV systems than the smaller (unregistered) systems. Therefore, a calculation with an area code is used.

Research

A study by Utrecht University led to the increase of the prefix for solar power from 700 to 875 kilowatt hours per kilowatt peak. Wilfried van Sark says: “The protocol, and thus the prefix, is of great importance to the government. This is because you want to know as accurately as possible how much renewable energy is being generated. As is well known, the Netherlands had to buy renewable energy from Denmark in 2020 in order to meet the European target of 14% renewable energy. If solar panels have produced more energy anyway, that saves the Dutch state money immediately.”

The national prefix is not the same every year as before. “For this reason, CBS has already started to correct the generation figures. Not only on the basis of the national annual radiation, but also by region. CBS also takes into account the month in which large systems come into use. Especially with the rapidly growing amount of solar parks, this is a relevant sector. For example, the radiation in 2019 was about 8% above the long-term average and therefore CBS calculated about 950 kilowatt hours per kilowatt peak. An annual irradiance correction is the first step, and a second step is a temperature correction. Hot summers have a negative impact on the power production of solar panels. In a heat wave, it can quickly make a difference of several percent.”

A Regional Energy Strategy (RES) was drawn up by 30 local municipalities, provinces and water boards, as part of the agreements in the Dutch Climate Agreement. The RES sets out the regional ambition for the generation of wind and solar energy, expressed in terawatt hours.

Why solar power?

Solar energy is an inexhaustible source of energy. It is clean and never runs out. The amount of energy is truly gigantic: per minute the earth captures more energy from the sun than we consume per year worldwide in energy.

Even in the winter when it is a bit colder, the sun still gives enough energy to make use of. Unfortunately, the techniques for actively using solar energy are often relatively expensive. The higher cost of a solar water heater compared to a (central) heating boiler is recovered after about five to twelve years through savings on your energy use. This is also dependent on the use. There is also the heat pump.

Solar panels, on the other hand, are dropping rapidly in price and are made of silicon, which in turn is made of sand. This is abundantly available on earth. And with production rising rapidly, the cost per panel has been falling for years. In September 2018, import duties on Chinese solar panels were even removed so the price is falling even faster.

Availability of solar energy

Solar energy, like wind energy, is not always one hundred percent available. The intensity of the sun’s available energy fluctuates with the seasons. In summer, the sun gives off more energy per square meter than in winter. But there are also intensity differences in the shorter term, for example when it is cloudy. As a result, the performance of solar systems also fluctuates. What types of solar energy are there?

Passive

Passive use of solar energy means using incoming sunlight without the need for devices. This mainly relates to the heat management in buildings and homes, but also the incident light. Using passive solar energy can save a considerable amount of energy. Some passive solar energy measures:

  • Large windows on the south side and smaller windows on the north side of a house/building;
  • Solar shades around the house/building
  • Solar shades to prevent overheating in the summer;
  • Good insulation around warm rooms;
  • Reconfiguration (warm spaces such as living room on the south side, colder – less used – spaces on the north side).

Active

Solar photovoltaic (PV) systems convert solar radiation directly into electricity. The systems consist of solar panels, containing a collection of solar cells linked together. This is similar to what plants do, they just don’t convert sunlight into electricity, but into chemical energy.

The solar cells are connected in series to provide a usable voltage. And solar panels are also coupled in series to provide a usable voltage that inverters convert from direct current to alternating current. You can also use solar collectors to preheat water, before the water is delivered to the boiler. This saves gas which we want to get rid of as soon as possible in the Netherlands.

Yields of solar panels in the Netherlands

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Currently (2020) there are about 24 million panels installed in the Netherlands and this amount is still increasing rapidly. Growing environmental awareness, falling prices of solar panels and low interest rates ensure rapid growth. Together, these panels account for 7,000 MWpik. That is 5% of the total electricity production in the Netherlands.

If all available space for PV panels in the Netherlands is used, the Netherlands can meet 75% of its energy needs. Energy Research Centre of the Netherlands (ECN) expects that now the application of solar energy really starts to take off, the cost price of usable energy from the sun has gone down and even become lower than the cost price of the increasingly expensive conventional energy. This is partly because the price of CO2 is rising and with it the price of conventional power generation.

What can solar energy be converted to?

Solar energy can be used very well in built-up areas where energy – both electricity and heat generation – is needed. This is because solar energy is a quiet, quite maintenance-free type of energy that produces virtually no visual pollution. Solar panels for electricity and solar collectors for hot water. Applying for a permit is usually not necessary, but you must report the installation to your municipality at the building and housing supervision department.

Tips

Below you can find some tips for buying panels:

Please note: the video says that the net metering scheme will expire in 2020. This has since become 2023.

Figures

The growth of solar panels has been explosive since 2010. In the graph below you can see the number of installed solar power installations in the Netherlands.

Growth of installed solar power installations in the Netherlands

Distribution per type of house

The presence of solar panels varies considerably by housing type. On average, a detached house has many more panels than a terraced house, for example. This is more than double. An apartment logically has almost no panels, simply because it usually lacks a suitable location for the panels. Below you can find the percentage per type of home (source: CBS).

Percentage of solar panels per housing type

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