HEERLEN, The Netherlands, January 24 /PRNewswire/ --

- EUR 170 Billion Available for Balanced Energy Mix

The government should use the revenues from the sale of natural gas to speed up the changeover to clean, renewable forms of energy. In doing so it will choose even more explicitly in favour of reducing CO2 emissions. The transition to sustainable energy will also make the Netherlands less dependent on politically unstable regions such as Russia and the Middle East, which are currently the key suppliers of oil and gas.

This was the assertion of Gosse Boxhoorn, CEO of Solland Solar, the Netherlands' largest producer of solar cells. Boxhoorn made this plea on Thursday during the opening of Solland Solar's new production hall in Heerlen. The new hall will enable Solland Solar to treble production, from 60 MWp/a to 170 MWp/a.

"By focusing more on clean forms of energy (solar, wind, water), the government is realising a more balanced energy policy," argued Gosse Boxhoorn. "The Netherlands currently has some EUR 170 billion worth of natural gas still untapped. That money should not be allowed to 'disappear' into general resources, but rather be used to intensify the efforts towards renewable energy. The government realises that an alternative is needed for oil and gas, but then concludes that coal is the answer. And we are not talking about one, but five coal-fired power stations at once. Given the CO2 emissions, this is not where we want to be heading."

High-performance solar cell

The high oil price, peaking at more than USD 100 a barrel at times, undoubtedly serves to promote solar energy as an increasingly plausible alternative. Moreover, Solland Solar manages to extract more and more energy from its cells and will start production of a high-performance cell, with an efficiency of some 16 percent, before the end of the year. This is an increase of one percent compared to existing cells; a significant improvement for this sector. The new cell will also help reduce the costs of producing solar panels.

Production expansion

The new production hall is a mere pit stop along the route for Solland Solar, which has seen dramatic growth since its establishment at the end of 2005. The solar cell manufacturer intends to increase production to 500 MWp/a in 2010. Another two production halls will be built to that end; the relevant subsidy has already been approved by the Ministry of Economic Affairs. Solland Solar had applied for a subsidy of EUR 125 million.

About Solland Solar

Solland Solar (http://www.sollandsolar.com), winner of the FD Gazellen Award 2007 and FEM Business Rising Star Award 2007, is a Dutch-German manufacturer of solar cells (photovoltaic cells). When production started at the end of 2005, Solland Solar had a capacity of 20 MWp/a. After the new production hall came into operation, the capacity was increased to 60 MWp/a, with a view to reaching 500 MWp/a in 2010. By then the number of employees will also have increased to some 1,000 (2008: 400). Since February 2007, Delta NV and subsidiary Sunergy BV of Middelburg have been majority shareholders in Solland Solar.

Note to the Editors:

Gosse Boxhoorn will be available on location for interviews on Thursday, 24 January. For more information by phone, please contact Wendy Kleijnen (+31-06-46324304), who can also assist in arranging telephone interviews.

Members of the media are cordially invited to attend the opening of the new production hall on Thursday 24 January. The press conference will start at 10:00 a.m. to be followed by a guided tour at 11:00 a.m.


Solland Solar- Avantis Business and Science Park

Bohr 10,

6422RL Heerlen

For more information by phone, please contact Wendy Kleijnen, +31-06-46324304