The TNO partner of Solliance is working on alternative solar panels. With these panels, bike paths, facades and acoustic barriers could also generate power.
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Only 12 percent of business premises that have a surface area larger than 1000 square meters have solar panels on their roofs. In The Netherlands, this amounts to more than 140,000 premises, which translates into approximately 38,000 hectares of roof area. Of all this roof surface area, not even 5,000 hectares is covered with solar panels, according to figures from the OverMorgen consultancy firm.
Even though plenty of entrepreneurs would like to install solar panels on their roofs, it is just not possible in some cases. For example, because their roof structure is not strong enough to support the weight of the panels. The Eindhoven-based start-up Solarge is one of the companies that has found a solution for this, which we wrote about last week.
The company makes solar panels that are half as light as traditional solar panels. How? By replacing glass with plastic, which also eliminates the need for an aluminum frame. To do this, the company combined the knowledge of SABIC (which developed a plastic that behaves in the same way as glass) with the expertise of Heijmans (which was able to apply the technique). The company plans to open a first factory for mass production in early 2022. It is expected that 500,000 square meters of solar panels should roll out of the factory each year.