Some comments on the recent posts:
- I can especially recommend the site by Floris Wouterlood, as mentioned above (http://www.zonnepanelen.wouterlood.com
- @Pieter: a small sized solar array (4 panels) does make a difference, in my opinion. It will generate 10 to 15 % of the annual consumption of an average household. It may not seem much, but it's all linear; 10 times as many panels will cost you 10 times as much and will generate 10 times as much. If you can only afford a small system, I'd say: do it anyway, as the experience and the fun you'll get from the technology will definitely make you want & buy more panels
. However, 4 panels won't make a serious difference if you don't start thinking about saving energy first (switch lights of, use CFLs, use a low power 24/7 server or even better: turn it off, etc.). My experience is that even a small set of panels will make you much more aware of your energy usage and saving options. It will become a new hobby, which combines well with the home automation thing. And yes, in my case, the electricity bill will be almost zero (unfortunately, I still have to pay the connection fee ("vastrecht")).
- @snelvuur: unfortunately, I bought most of my panels in 2002 when the subsidy was roughly half the price of the panels; my motivation was mainly the environment, not the financial argument. I bought some extra panels in 2003 at an over-subsidized pricepoint (as I said, EUR 95,- for each set of 4 panels...), and so did the rest of Holland. The consequences are well know: the subsidy which was budgetized at EUR 75 million turned into EUR 175 million, leading to a subsidy stop which lasted for 5 years... All in all, my panels need to be on the roof for another 12 to 15 years before I a reach a full return on investment, financialy speaking. More important though, is the CO2 reduction that comes with it.
- If I take into account all the hours I put into the whole subject of solar panels, including all the research for a large scale array, getting price quotes, getting the stuff delivered, installing it, filling out many many forms for the subsidy, moving it and finally solving all the problems I've had with inverters (don't ask), it's been a very bad investment; but hey, as I said, it's another hobby now!
- As far as the new subsidy is concerned: note that the 35 cents is on top of you using the kWh yourself, as I understood it. Usually it would cost you around 20 cents, so the total earning per kWh would be around 55 cents. This is comparable to the German subsidy that works out very well.