Dutch government and companies sign solar energy covenant

Apr 14, 1997 02:00 AM

The Dutch ministry of economic affairs and fourteen energy and construction companies have signed a covenant to increase the use of solar power in the Netherlands. "It is very important that four construction companies have signed. Their help is essential," a ministry spokeswoman said. The plan is to increase the number of buildings with solar panels from the current 250 (totalling 6,000 sqm of cells) to at least 3,000 (77,000 sqm) by the year 2000 by making the price of solar energy more competitive.
The government believes over 10,000 homes could manage with solar power if smaller scale systems were used. "(Solar energy) is still too expensive, but subsidies and other fiscal measures can help," the spokesman said. The government also believes that by nurturing the domestic market, the Dutch solar industry could develop a strong export position.
The plan is part of the Dutch government's policy to raise the share of energy consumption from renewable sources from 1 % to 10 % by the year 2020. The government's budget for the research, development and marketing of solar panels is 33 mm guilders per year until the year 2000.

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