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Connecting kids with solar power

zonnepanelen-installeren.jpgThe price of electricity has increased and the price of solar panels has decreased last years. Generating energy by yourself is even without subsidy affordable for householdings. The Dutch law provides (from July 2013) that this energy may be deducted ("netted") from the purchased unlimited, as long as the balance of the two remains positive. This means concretely that householding can always deliver energy back at the full rate to their energy provider, usually it is about 22 cents.

Investing together in solar energy on someone else's roof

Not everyone has its own roof, and not every roof is suitable for solar panels. An alternative for these people is to invest in solar panels at a convenient roof, such as the roof of a school. It is not legally possible to net the profits on someone else's roof with your own energy bill.

Nevertheless, there are possibilities to invest on solar energy on someone else's roof. At various places in the Netherlands are poeple experimenting with innovative cooperation connections. Energy Cooperative Zon@School is a striking example of this, because it delivers no electricity, but an installation on installment. By collecting the advantages of all involved parties, we have succeed in making solar energy affordable for schools without subsidy.

School: Special ownership situation

A school has usually two owners. The user is legal owner and the municipality is economic owner. In our example project "Sun on the Kubus" the ownership of the school is spread over the municipality Amersfoort and the KPOA (Catholic Primay Education in Amersfoort) foundation, where primary school the Kubus is a part of.

Win-win-win

A district enterprise is only possible when all involved parties benefit from it: The school, the municipality and the enterprise itself. For this a tripartite (three-party) is developed, making everyone happy:

  • At the school solar panels are installed for free that are paid off in 23 years with the savings of the electricity bills. The advantage for the school is that there is a maximum rate included into the agreement of 25 cents per kWh. So the school gets a price guarantee.
  • Citizens, who have invested in the solar panels through the Cooperative are repaid after 17 years. The remaining six years of the contract, they will gain profit (conservative projection).
  • The municipality of Amersfoort wants to be CO2-emission neutral in 2030. By bringing the installation among the insurance of the building it can virtually budget neutral a part of its targets realize easily.