Netherlands: Solar panels save energy at Van Geest International

Two years ago, Rien van Geest of Van Geest International in De Lier, Holland became the first company in the region to undertake a large solar panel project. “Fortunately I have the time and the energy to take on such a project,” he says. “Two years ago I read in the paper that the government subsidized businesses that invested in the instalment of solar panels. We decided to do that right away.”

“Our terminal was just perfect. It has a large roof that catches the sun all day long. At the moment, 1500 m2 has been covered by 825 panels, but we’re considering installing a thousand more.”

Van Geest estimates he wins back 10 to 15% of his annual energy consumption. “The initial investment was a quarter of a million Euro. So it will take a few years before we’re even.”

Rien van Geest with a Led tube

Another important innovation is the use of LED lighting. As it turned out, the old fluorescent tubes could easily be replaced. It wasn’t cheap: one LED tube goes for about 100 Euro. But it was worth it: “Energy consumption is down with 40%. Also, LED works better in cooling cells, they last much longer and are not as sensitive.”

Van Geest concludes: “We always keep looking for ways to do it better, and so far it pays off.”

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