As the Dutch SDE+ program was able to successfully boost projects with a size of more than 1 MW, the country‘s government now intends to adapt the program slightly in order to grant smaller projects a higher level of incentive.
In the Netherlands, the SDE+ program covers the difference between the market value of solar energy and its cost price. This support can be granted for periods of 8, 12 or 15 years, depending on the maximum number of full load hours. The program is open to all projects of more than 15 kW in size, yet it is mainly larger projects of several MW that are granted subsidies.
Two new categories to benefit small projects
In order to boost smaller projects as well, the Dutch government has now decided to create separate categories for solar parks under 1 MW. According to the Dutch solar energy association Holland Solar, these will first be implemented at the next “Autumn Round” of the program, upon instruction of the Netherlands Environmental Assessment Agency (PBL) to the Minister of Economic Affairs and Climate Change, Eric Wiebes. Meanwhile, Holland Solar claims that the new categories are the result of intense lobbying activities, carried out by the association earlier this year.
As of Autumn Round four categories will exist
While the exact provisions for the Autumn Round have not yet been announced, one thing is clear: once the new categories are created, a total of four categories will exist. These include PV projects in the range of 15 kW to 100 kW as the smallest category. Such projects will be awarded a basic tariff of around €0.106/kWh in the latest round of 2018, and of €0.101/kWh in the two rounds planned for 2019. The second new category includes PV installations with a size of 100 kW to 1 MW, which will be granted a tariff of €0.102/kWh in the Autumn Round, and of €0.092/kWh in 2019.
The current categories are projects above 1 MW (which will receive a basic tariff of €0.092/kWh in 2018, and of €0.084/kWh in 2019) and PV facilities larger than 1 MW and relying on a solar tracker technology. The latter will be awarded a basic rate of €0.092/kWh in 2018, and of €0.084/kWh in 2019.
4 GW allocated under SDE+
As for now, about 4 GW of solar capacity were allocated under the SDE+ program. However, only an estimated amount 700 MW of this capacity is currently connected to the grid. The program‘s budget for 2018 is 12 billion EUR.