Solar panel sales slump after record sales, tax changes a worry


An investigation by current affairs programme Nieuwsuur has shown that fewer homeowners are buying solar panels for the first time in years, with sales dips of 30% upwards being reported. 

“The decline is so significant that we are concerned,” Wijnand van Hooff, from sector lobby group Holland Solar told the programme. “We are asking ourselves what is going on.”

Market research group DNE Research paints a similar picture. “The first half of 2023 was the best ever, but since then there has been a clear decline,” researcher Daan Jansen said. Nevertheless, he said, the strong first half performance could mean that sales will be up this year overall. 

Independent advisory group Milieu Centraal has also noted a fall in visitor numbers. The decline could be down to a combination of factors contributing to consumer uncertainty, spokeswoman Mariken Stolk said.

In particular, the decision by parliament to stop allowing panel owners to deduct the energy they feed back into the grid from their bills will have played a part, she said.

The measure, which still has to be passed in the senate, was introduced to encourage people to place solar panels and is being replaced by a straightforward payment to save the government €400 million in lost taxes. 

In addition, energy prices have stabilised and this too may impact on consumers unwillingness to invest, she said. Green energy firm Vandebron has also announced that it will start charging customers who feed energy into the grid to cover their costs, which may also have alarmed customers.

The Netherlands generated the biggest share of electricity via solar power per capita in the EU in 2022, accounting for some 14% – slightly more than Spain – and had the highest number of installed solar panels of the 27 nations.

Over two million households in the Netherlands currently have solar panels.

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