Solar may reach 6 GW in the Netherlands by 2020, report says

The Netherlands’ installed PV power might grow from around 2 GW currently to 20 GW by 2035, according to the National Energy Report (Nationale Energieverkenning 2017 – NEV) published by Dutch research institute Energieonderzoek Centrum Nederland (ECN) in partnership with the Dutch Central Office for Statistics (CBS).

According to the study, which is updated every year and describes the energy transition and the expected developments up to 2030, the Dutch solar market could also reach a remarkable 6 GW of operational installed PV capacity by 2020. This would be achieved, ECN experts said, if at least two thirds of the allocated solar capacity under the SDE+ program for large-scale solar and renewables is actually built.

The authors of the report believe that solar projects under the SDE+ program could be able to achieve a tariff of €0.10 per kWh in 2020, and that a structural further decline of around 30% is expected between 2020 and 2035.

The report also shows that renewable energies were able to increase their share in Netherlands’ power mix from only 2% in 2000 to around 6% at the end of 2016. The ECN, however, finds that this share could reach a percentage of approximately 16.7% in 2023, with solar being responsible for almost 50% of renewable energy growth between 2020 and 2023.

Last month, the Netherlands allocated 2.3 GW of new solar capacity in the spring round of its SDE+ auction program for large-scale renewables. According to figures provided to pv magazine by Peter Segaar, owner of solar website and analyst of Dutch solar market trends, operational ground-mounted PV installations exceeding 50 kW reached just 58 MW at the end of February.

Most of the PV projects approved under the SDE+ program, however, have recently been completed. According to Segaar, the large 2016 budget allocations for the SDE+ program are partly realized, and another 600 MW in new PV power stations could be connected to the grid this year.

In mid-October, the Dutch government announced a new legislation that will see all coal-fired generation plants close by 2030. The directive from the Dutch coalition-pact states that the government will introduce a binding target to cut carbon emissions by 2030 in order to put a floor beneath carbon prices. The new standards also require coal plants to meet tougher limits for mercury, nitrogen dioxide and sulphur dioxide emissions. These standards will be implemented from 2021.