Solar prevails again in Netherlands’ SDE+ rounds

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Netherlands Enterprise Agency, Rijksdienst voor Ondernemend Nederland – RVO, has assigned around 2.34 GW of renewable energy capacity in the first round of its 2018 SDE+ (Stimulering Duurzame Energieproductie) program for large-scale solar and renewable energy power projects.

As for solar, the RVO said that, of the 4,369 applications for PV projects it received, 3,774 were accepted for a capacity of around 1.7 GW. “All of the submitted project proposals would have required a budget of around €5.3 billion, but the budget needed for the 3,899 projects which received approval will amount to almost € 3.6 billion,” the agency said in its statement. The budget for the round had been set at €6 billion.

Although large-scale solar secured around 72% of all allocated capacity, it will use only 57% of the budget, followed by biomass with around 27%.

Overall, around 3,899 renewable energy generation projects were contracted through the round, including 50 biomass power plants, 45 on-shore wind projects, 22 solar thermal projects, and another eight projects from minor renewable energy sources.

Including the latest round, around 6.6 GW of solar capacity has been allocated in all rounds of the SDE+ program since it was launched in 2008. In the four first years of the program, solar only played a minor role, overwhelmed by wind and geothermal projects. As the costs of PV technology decreased, however, and the Dutch energy sector became aware of the advantages of PV, solar saw its share grow significantly round by round.

The program is open to, among other renewable energy projects, solar plants over 1 MW and projects ranging in size from 15 kW to 1 MW.

As for the power fed into the grid, the SDE+ will compensate for the differences between the cost price of renewable energy and the market value of the energy supplied. Subsidies are allocated for periods of eight, 12 or 15 years, depending on the maximum number of full load hours for each technology.