Solar Energy Doubled Worldwide

Top speakers throw light on ‘solar future' in the Netherlands

UTRECHT - The market for solar energy has grown more during 2010 than all experts had predicted. Worldwide, a capacity of 15 gigawatts (15.000 megawatts) has been achieved through installation of solar panels. The largest part of this, 12.000 megawatts, was installed in Europe, with Germany as frontrunner once again with installations of a capacity of 7500 megawatts of solar energy. This 28.000 megawatts capacity in solar panels that can now be found in Europe means that 10 million households can be provided with power.

Some countries are even reaching the stage where solar energy will be cheaper than power from the electricity networks. "Worldwide, the market has grown 90 percent. That is almost a doubling. For the past ten years, predictions have repeatedly proved to be too pessimistic," Solarplaza's CEO, Edwin Koot, states. His company organizes high-level global conferences and takes entrepreneurs on trade trips to countries such as China and Taiwan, where 50 percent of the world's solar panels are produced.

The third Dutch high-level conference, The Solar Future III, scheduled for 21st April 2011, will provide an opportunity for entrepreneurs, investors, regional bodies and others interested in or playing an important role in solar energy-related businesses to come together in the Media Plaza complex in Utrecht.

The keynote speaker is Jeremy Leggett. As a geologist, he has worked in the oil industry, among other things resourcing oil source rocks funded by BP and Shell. He has also been active in the environment movement to fight global warming, as a Greenpeace activist. These days, Leggett is the founder and Executive Chairman of Solarcentury, a highly successful European solar energy company.

In addition to Jeremy Leggett, other speakers include Professor Wim Sinke, the Program Unit Manager Solar Energy at ECN, who is an exceptional Professor at the University of Utrecht, and generally seen as the Netherlands' solar energy guru; Mario Zen, Vice-President of the gigantic Chinese solar panel producer LDK Solar; and Jochen Schönfelder, who develops strategies for international companies to make solar energy more profitable and rewarding.

According to Koot, there is a wealth of opportunities in the solar energy arena for Dutch companies, in selling, installing and servicing. Because solar panel subsidies are no longer granted in the Netherlands, the country has fallen behind its neighboring countries. There are nevertheless a number of special initiatives which will be highlighted at the conference. "For instance, we are already very good at financing, insuring and subscription via Internet and mobile phones. In the future, there will be solar panels for sale for 0 Euros with a power subscription for X amount of years," Koot suggests.

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