Solar panels have become cheaper and it will now take home owners six rather than eight years to earn back their investment, latest calculations by environmental advice organisation Milieu Centraal have shown.
A set of 10 panels now costs some €5,000 compared to €7,500 last year. Last year, solar panels were more expensive overall because of greater demand caused by spiralling energy prices.
The situation is back to normal, sustainable energy expert Mariken Stolk told broadcaster NOS, but consumer interest in solar panels has plummeted.
Some 25 solar panel makers have gone bust this year alone, and independent installation businesses are hard put to find work.
“People are holding back because they are not sure what the energy companies are doing about paying home owners for the energy they don’t use,” Stolk said. But with a standard energy contract and a reduction in payments, an investment in solar panels will still result in a 6% return, she said.
Earlier this year, MPs voted to stop allowing panel owners to deduct the energy they feed back into the grid from their bills. The measure, which still has to be passed in the senate, iwas 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.
An additional problem for would-be buyers in areas where many people have solar panels is that the panels can switch off on sunny days because of current overloads.
The Milieu Centraal calculation is good news for the sector, said Doekle Terpstra, chairman of the Techniek Nederland sector organisation. “I expect demand to bounce back. The potential for solar energy is huge, not just for private homes but for businesses as well,” he said.
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