Solar Magazine – Techniek Nederland on future-proof installer: ‘Change in mindset and culture is necessary’

Technology plays a crucial role in tackling almost every major challenge of our time. CONNECT2030 – a medium-term outlook presented by Techniek Nederland, ISSO, TVVL and Wij Techniek at the end of September – shows what is needed to be able to respond to this. What lessons can solar panel installers learn from this?

Major developments
Jacques van der Krogt, chairman of the innovation committee of the industry association Techniek Nederland: ‘The overall theme of CONNECT2030 is the agility of the future in the Dutch technology sector. We live in a time of major changes in areas such as energy, circularity, security, digitization and the labor market. Add to that radical developments such as corona and the war in Ukraine, and it is difficult to keep an overview. The world is changing, our tasks are enormous. How should we organize it, also with a view to current problems such as a lack of people and materials? This is the central question that will be addressed in CONNECT2030.’

Big opportunities, big challenges
One of the 5 themes of CONNECT2030 is ‘energy everywhere and always’. Creating a renewable energy system offers great opportunities for the technology sector. But the energy transition has many dimensions, such as regulations, social impact, affordability, inclusiveness and innovative development. The (PV) installer of the future reacts optimally to this on all fronts. It is not just about installing solar panels on the roof, but increasingly about integrated sustainable energy systems for homes and businesses. It requires new knowledge and skills for tomorrow’s professionals.’

Not one recipe
‘Innovation and digitization offer great opportunities for the solar cell installer of the future. For example, also consider decentralized smart grids and other smart technology to reduce the load on the power grid,’ adds Van der Krogt. “As an installer, you do yourself a disservice if you don’t invest in knowledge of such smart solutions. At the same time, there is no single recipe for future agility. It differs from organization to region, what you do and what you want in the future. Therefore, as part of CONNECT2030, Techniek Nederland will soon come up with an interactive PDF that our members can use to get an idea of ​​what is relevant to them.’

Van der Krogt emphasizes that a future-proof installer is more than a company that has the necessary technical skills under control. He mentions a change of as the most important point of action mindset and culture in the sector and in companies. In CONNECT2030, this is described as an attitude that reflects that the future cannot be predicted precisely, but that you as an organization can prepare for it to be different from today. The chairman of the Innovation Committee of Technology Netherlands talks about rethinking: ‘Don’t do what you have to, but what you can.’

Possibilities and limitations
Van der Krogt: “Someone calls an installer and asks if he can deliver a solar energy system. The answer is “yes”. Some time later, the solar panels are installed. That’s how it goes mostly now. Future agility means that we need to let go of the reactive approach and move towards proactivity. We must include individuals and businesses, have the courage to let go of old successes and identify and seize new opportunities. This means not going blind to what is required, but offering optimal solutions and choices, taking into account all the possibilities and limitations of the moment. And these circumstances – laws, insurance requirements, technology, grid capacity, subsidies, you name it – are constantly changing. It requires not only appropriate skills, but also flexibility and a proactive attitude.’

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