Solar power on a cloudy day

Who says solar panels need sunshine?

Not the Dutch government. In fact, despite the fact that sunny days are not especially common in the Netherlands, the Dutch are planning to transform their medieval-era parliament building in The Hague into a solar powered center of power, according to a recent NEWS FOR CHANGE report.

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The practicality of the plan is a little suspect: The capital gets an average of 131 days of rainfall per year and surely more cloudy days on top of that.

Solar energy makes sense for a country with half its landmass below sea level in a time when the globe is warming and the polar ice caps melting. But the country’s intentions may be more political than environmental. Though government officials deny any correlation, the solar annoucement comes just weeks before a November UN conference on climate change and a month after Greenpeace activists placed solar panels on an adjacent building.