‘Renewable energy such as wind and solar power is crucial in making the port more sustainable. That’s why it’s important that companies use solar power where possible e.g. by placing solar panels on their roof,’ says Michel Bresser, Area Manager and ‘Solar Manager’ at the Port of Rotterdam Authority. But, placing solar panels on your building isn’t always an option. ‘Roofs must meet various requirements; for example, a roof must have adequate load-bearing capacity, the building must have a large enough connection to the power grid, and the panels must be able to remain in place for at least fifteen years.’ That’s why Bresser and a team are offering advice to companies that want to use solar power.
‘In the port of Rotterdam, there is plenty of potential for solar energy. More and more companies in the port area are installing solar panels. Examples are Coolport and Steinweg on the Maasvlakte (Hartelstrook). Most new-build warehouses now have solar panels. Many existing warehouses will also be equipped with solar panels in the coming years.’ And that’s logical because it is an attractive way of becoming more sustainable. These days it’s also often possible without companies having to invest much themselves.
Are you interested in installing solar panels on your roof or car park? Bresser: ‘You can do your own initial check on the size of your roof by looking at Google Maps. If your roof’s surface area is over 500 m2, it is probably an interesting option.’ If your roof’s surfaces ticks the box, you can contact the port’s solar team to help you to investigate the possibilities for installing solar panels. In some cases an expert will come and assess whether the roof is suitable for solar panels. They will estimate how many panels can be installed and how much energy can be obtained and used by your company. This will provide insight into a possible design and the costs and yield of your own solar park.
Finance and organise it yourself: you apply for a subsidy and choose an installer. You invest in the panels and pay for the installation and maintenance. However, you also save money, because your energy bill will fall dramatically due to the electricity generated.
Finance it yourself and outsource the organisation: you pay a developer to apply for the subsidy and to organise the installation and maintenance, and you invest in the panels. You have very little worry about the project, and you save money because of the resulting fall or disappearance of your energy bill.
Rent a roof: no need to finance or organise anything yourself. You lease the solar panels and pay for the green energy you use. Depending on the circumstances, you can receive compensation by making your roof available.
Step 2 involves changing the energy system. Instead of using oil and gas for heating, industry will switch to electricity, hydrogen and green hydrogen. This demands a lot of and affordable electricity from sustainable sources such as sun and wind.