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

Technology plays a decisive role in tackling almost all major challenges 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 successfully respond to this. What lesson can solar panel installers draw from this?

Major developments
Jacques van der Krogt, chairman of the Innovation Committee of the sector association Techniek Nederland: ‘The overarching theme of CONNECT2030 is the future agility of the Dutch technology sector. We live in a time of major transitions 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 are we going to organize this, also with a view to current problems such as shortages of people and materials, for example? That is the key question that will be addressed in CONNECT2030.’

Big opportunities, big challenges
One of the 5 themes in 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 responds 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. That requires new knowledge and competences for the professional of tomorrow.’

Not one recipe
‘Innovation and digitization offer great opportunities for the PV installer of the future. For example, also consider decentralized smart grids and other smart technology to reduce the burden on the electricity grid’, adds Van der Krogt. ‘As an installer, you are doing 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. That differs per organisation, per region, what you do and what you want in the future. That is why, 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 mastered the necessary technical skills. He mentions a change of as the most important action point mindset and culture in the sector and in companies. In CONNECT2030, this is described as an attitude that reflects that the future cannot be accurately predicted, but that you can prepare yourself as an organization for it to be different from today. The chair of the Innovation Committee of Technology Netherlands talks about rethinking: ‘Don’t do what you have to do, but what you can do.’

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

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