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50% of Dutch roofs now suitable for solar panels / €2.5 million for solar startup RABLE

Since 2019, startup RABLE Group BV has developed a completely new mounting system for solar panels. Research commissioned by RVO shows that more than 50% of roofs in the Netherlands are too weak for a solar installation. In the Netherlands, solar panels on a flat roof with more than 295 km2 of roof surface area are only possible after costly renovations. In response to this demand, RABLE developed a self-supporting mounting system that allows solar panels to be installed on almost all of these roofs without renovation costs. Impact investors Rubio Impact Ventures and Energietransitiefonds Rotterdam (through InnovationQuarter) are investing €2.5 million to set up production and enter the market with the system.

Unlocking the solar potential of all roofs with a (light) construction limitation can contribute an additional 1.1 TWh/year to the 2030 target (of the Dutch government) on top of the already planned 5.9 TWh/year. By also unlocking the heavily restricted roofs, an additional 16% of solar-on-roof potential can be unlocked. This is a necessary contribution to achieve the scenario “focus on roofs” with an ambition of 200 TWh/year (TKI & Generation (2021)). This report states that the spatial potential on roofs and paved areas is sufficient to accommodate a large part of the generation at a target of 70 Twh/year and also at a larger target of 200 Twh/year in 2050. This has been established with scenario variants of ‘focus on roofs’. With the launch of this self-supporting mounting system for flat roofs, RABLE provides the innovation needed to achieve these ambitions. Virtually all flat roofs for which the structural limitation was a problem are enabled by this new system to be converted into energy centers.

Erik Valks, CEO of RABLE: “The confidence of our new investors enables us to now move forward with series production and international roll-out of this unique product. This joint effort will structurally accelerate the energy transition.”

Impact investors Rubio and Energietransitiefonds Rotterdam: “Half of the commercial and industrial roofs in the Netherlands are too weak for solar panels; that is around 9,000 soccer fields of surface area that remain unused for solar energy. With RABLE, we can provide those 9,000 soccer fields with solar panels; that is a huge amount of additional solar energy in places where the electricity can also be used directly.”

Jesse In ‘t Velt

Senior Investment Manager ENERGIIQ