Netherlands allocates 3.44 GW of PV in spring round of 2020 SDE+ program

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The SDE+ (Stimulering Duurzame Energieproductie) program for large-scale renewable energy projects continues to be the main driver for planned and contracted PV capacity in the Netherlands.

The Dutch Ministry of Economic Affairs and Climate Policy said this week that it has selected 6,882 PV projects with a combined capacity of 3,340 MW in the first round – the so-called Spring Round – of its 2020 program. The state-run Rijkdienst voor Ondernemend Nederland (RVO) agency, which manages the SDE+ program, had previously preselected PV projects, totaling 4,032 MW.

The RVO has allocated 3,911 MW of renewable energy capacity through the bidding round. The remainder was represented by 116 MW of large-scale wind projects, 225 MW of biomass projects, and 101 MW of geothermal capacity. The remaining 30 MW was represented by other minor renewable energy technologies.

The government devoted a budget of €4 billion to the procurement round, but it only allocated €3.30 billion, of which €2.1 billion went to PV technology. Although solar accounted for 98% of the assigned projects, it will only require 65% of the funds allocated for the incentives.

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In March, Eric Wiebes, the economic affairs minister, said that several projects that were excluded from the spring round of the 2019 program would have had a chance to secure contracts in the spring round for 2020. Since last year’s latest round, the SDE+ program included a “transport indication” for the first time, under which it scrapped subsidies in parts of the country with grid-access constraints.

In late January, Liander and grid operator Enexis said there was limited capacity available for renewables projects – mainly large-scale solar – in the northeastern provinces.

The Netherlands could reach between 38 GW and 125 GW of total installed solar capacity by 2050, according to a recent report by Netbeheer Nederland, the Dutch association of national-regional electricity and gas network operators. Figures from the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) show that the country’s operational PV capacity stood at around 6.72 GW by the end of last year.

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