Netherlands’ solar installs top 2.7 GW

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Provisional statistics published by the Dutch Central Bureau of Statistics (CBS) confirm that the Netherlands solar market recorded its largest growth last year, with around 700 MW of new additions. Cumulative capacity is now sitting at 2.7 GW.

Last year’s growth is around 153 MW lower than that predicted by Good!/Solar Solutions in late January. The company said at the time that its numbers were based on data provided by Dutch power distributors and solar installers.

According to Peter Segaar, owner of solar website www.polderpv.nl and analyst of Dutch solar market trends, CBS’ statistics are relatively reliable, as final official statistics have never increased by more than 34 MW over the past years.

Taking into account this possible fluctuation and its constant monitoring of all of the available sources, Segaar believes that newly installed PV capacity for last year, once final statistics will be provided, may not cross 725 MW.

By way of comparison, in 2016 new PV additions totaled 534 MW, while in 2015 and 2016, new capacity for solar was 467 MW and 302 MW, respectively.

Looking forward, Segaar told pv magazine it is difficult to predict what will happen in 2018. “I know for sure,” he stated, “that it might end far beyond 1 GW, possibly a few hundred MWs more, but there are so many uncertainties, as there is extreme lack of qualified installers, and net connections take a lot of time.”

Segaar is also certain that the Netherlands will become a GW market in 2018. “But how big that gigawatt will become is very hard to settle beforehand,” he added.

As a result of last year’s growth, according to CBS, solar was able to see its share in the country’s power production increase from 1.30% in 2016, to 1.75%.

The Dutch market’s main driver still remains the SDE+ program for large-scale solar and renewables, while net metering for residential and commercial PV has seen its share decrease over the past two years.