March 25, 2021

What is solar energy?



The sun is the largest and most sustainable energy source in the world. This star, which is about 15 million kilometers away from Earth, provides us with energy in the form of heat and light. When using solar energy, this energy from the sun is stored and used as a form of renewable energy, usually to generate power. Together with wind energy, hydropower and biomass, solar energy makes up 99.9% of all renewable energy on earth. Although the use of solar energy is not new, the term solar energy nowadays usually refers to the latest technologies that allow people to generate solar energy themselves. This can be done in two ways, with solar panels or with a solar water heater. Both are accessible to entrepreneurs and individuals alike.

Generate solar energy yourself with a solar carport or solar panels

In recent years, self-generation of solar energy in Europe has become increasingly popular. About 6 percent of Dutch households now have solar panels on their roof. That equates to about 400,000 homes. In addition, the electricity generated from solar panels in the Netherlands increased by a total of 40% last year, according to statistics from Statistics Netherlands( CBS). More and more people are choosing to generate their own power. Not a bad idea, because from 2050 the Netherlands must be CO2 neutral according to the current objective in the Climate Agreement. By 2050, all Dutch households and businesses must therefore be fully supplied with green electricity. Installing solar panels, a solar carport or a solar water heater is therefore a good option. Whether you want to generate solar energy as a private individual or entrepreneur, you contribute to a more sustainable world anyway. Plus, it’ll make your wallet happy, too. Your energy bill will be a lot lower and you will usually have recouped your investment within a few years. In addition, by generating (sustainable) electricity yourself, you are also less dependent on any electricity price increases. So it’s a win-win.

Generating solar energy as a private individual

Do you want to generate solar energy as a private individual? Then it must first be determined where exactly the panels will be located. You do this based on the available space and which side of your roof delivers the best yield. Usually this is south-facing. Are you thinking about installing solar panels? Then it is advisable to first check your roof on is an initiative of Dutch municipalities. On the website, land registry data are combined with detailed height files of Rijkswaterstaat. As a result, the advice takes into account the location and angle of inclination of your roof, but also with shade from trees and chimneys, among other things. This way you can immediately see whether your roof is suitable for solar panels, but also where and how you can best install them. In addition, you can of course also ask an installer for advice. In any case, it is wise to call in an installer before installing solar panels. Some expertise is required for assembly, connection and installation.  

Generating renewable energy as an entrepreneur

The generation of renewable energy has also become more attractive for entrepreneurs in recent years. For example, companies can generate renewable energy by installing solar panels on an office building or by purchasing a solar carport in the company’s parking lot. Both have increased in popularity in recent years. From January 2023, every company larger than 100m2 must have at least energy label C. Installing solar panels or a solar carport is a good first step towards complying with the new energy legislation. In addition, if you opt for sustainable electricity, you are eligible for a number of tax advantages and government subsidies as an entrepreneur. An additional reason to opt for a sustainable parking space.

Solar energy and climate

These tax advantages and subsidies are, of course, given for a reason. Because, as we mentioned briefly, by generating solar energy you can contribute to a more sustainable world. Why is solar so good for the environment? Solar energy is good for the climate because less fossil fuels, such as oil, coal and gas, are consumed, so co2 emissions are significantly reduced. Moreover, fossil fuels are becoming increasingly scarce, which also means that prices are going up. Solar, on the other hand, never runs out. Renewable energy is unlimited and avoids harmful substances for the climate.For these reasons, it is becoming increasingly important to generate energy through solar panels, a solar carport or a solar water heater.

Energy yield

It is often thought that solar panels or a solar carport only provide power when the sun is actually shining. That’s a misconception, because solar panels can also just generate sun during clouds. This happens to a lesser extent, of course. To calculate your energy yield, kWh (kilowatt hours) per Wp (wattpeak) per year is a handy conversion factor. That is actually the power consumption or the yield per power of the solar panels. The most well-known factor is 0.85 kWh per Wp per year for a household with a south-facing roof. This depends on the location of the roof, the corner of the roof, the radiation disc and the shadows that fall on the roof.

Do you want to know more about installing a solar carport? Please contact us for all possibilities.

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