If the world of solar was a newspaper, it would be a tabloid. There is no sector where gossip spreads quite so quickly and ultimately does not contribute much. For an example, Good! New Energy’s Rolf Heynen looks back to 2013, when Europe introduced the Minimum Import Price on Chinese solar panels.
Panic struck in the Netherlands in 2013, and some said the whole sector would go down like the Titanic. But, of course, it didn’t. Then, a few years later the net metering scheme was questioned. Once again, cue panic.
In the meantime, the Dutch solar sector continued to grow at a double-digit rate. The Netherlands will become a 2 GW market in 2019. Now we read that the grid cannot handle the growth of solar energy. It would be nice, in line with the tabloids, to create a new panic, but that would not do justice to this market.
Robust discussion is useful for arriving at well balanced policy, but then the discussion must be based on facts and not on fiction and fear. Almost all climate experts are convinced that we should reduce C02 emissions fast. Should you worry about climate change in your lifetime? The answer is yes. Two-mile deep drilling in the Antarctic ice in 2005 has provided a picture of almost 800,000 years of climate change. The research shows that radical climate change could take place in only a few decades. But there is another urgent reason to transition to renewables. This reason is simple; natural gas for end-users will become more expensive.
When taking all costs and risks into account, fossil fuels (and nuclear), are always more expensive. That makes solar energy (and wind energy) the most attractive and unavoidable energy source of the future. Solar energy is clean, offered in abundance and the technology is becoming more efficient and cheaper every year.
However, gossip certainly spreads from time to time. For example, the latest “revelation” of grid constraints have been blown out of proportion. Only in rural parts of Groningen and Drenthe, north-eastern provinces of the Netherlands, have bottlenecks appeared. These reinforce the pressure on grid operators to invest more in the grid infrastructure.
When we discard the tabloid gossip, the fact remains that solar energy will become the engine of the energy supply system. Subsidy-free solar parks are arising. Substantially declining battery prices and technological innovations will bring affordable storage of solar energy within reach in a few years. Solar-power brings enormous opportunities for the installation sector, not just in the short term but even in the long run. The solar sector will maintain its full swing momentum, and continue development.
Those facts are substantiated at the Solar Solutions Int. exhibition, which has developed into the second largest solar exhibition in Europe. On 20,000 m², more than 200 exhibitors showcase their latest developments. Visitors can gather knowledge in more than 130 free seminars.
The “Innovation Areas” showcase more than 30 innovations that will soon be introduced to the market. In order to handle the strongly increased number of visitors, the number of exhibition days has been extended to three days in 2019. The Solar Solutions Int. exhibition is also co-located with the Green Heating show. Green Heating is the largest exhibition in the field of Sustainable HVAC. Your ticket for Solar Solutions also gives access to the Green Heating exhibition.
The views and opinions expressed in this article are the author’s own, and do not necessarily reflect those held by pv magazine.