As renewable energies become more and more important in the Netherlands, the solar market is constantly gaining ground. Hence Holland Solar, the Dutch industry association, expects a total of 1 GW of new PV installations in 2017. This estimate is mainly based upon the stable investment environment in the sector.
The solar market in the Netherlands has been growing steadily over the past few years and the Dutch government has ambitious plans for the near future (we have reported on this earlier this month). In spite of the upcoming elections, Holland Solar’s president Jaap Baarsma expects this to continue and estimates a total of 1 GW of new PV installations in 2017. “It is rather unlikely that the solar policy will change at the short term. Just before Christmas the parliament voted for a proposal to maintain the ‘salderingsregeling’ up to 2023. There was a broad spectrum of policital parties in favour of this proposal, directed on the investment in PV by households. The SDE+ for 2017 is already announced and it is very likely this instrument will function up to 2023 as well“, pv Europe was told by Baarsma.
Business market expected to grow remarkably this year
Baarsma proceeded to explain the reasons for solar energy’s ongoing success. “Last year the market was around 500-550 MW and was dominantly driven by the residential market due to the very interesting ‘salderingsregeling’ (net metering). However the business market is also growing and my expectation is that this market will grow faster in 2017. The budget of the SDE+ will be 12 billion euro next year. As you most probably know this is a tendering system not only for solar-PV, but also for onshore wind and biomass. The power out of PV installations becomes more and more competitive and biomass used in power plants will not take next year a significant part of the budget”, he said.
Baarsma bases expectations upon growing number of PV installations
Baarsma’s estimates exceed those of the Solar Trendreport 2017, which expects only 650 – 700 MW of new PV installations. He explained to pv Europe that last year, the first solar park of more than 10 MW was realized in the Netherlands – the Sunport Delfzijl 30.8 MW, a project of Wirsol [we have reported on this development]. Next year, however, there will be more solar parks, which will be a new extra market in the Netherlands. He emphasized that he is quite sure the Netherlands will be more and more interesting for international market players in the next years. „There is an awareness of the inhibition for large projects due to legal procedure, but as you maybe know there was a very successful approach in the tender for offshore wind in which in concerted action of all authorities a very fast and efficient route has been organized”, Baarsma told pv Europe.
Solar popular with small consumers
The steady success of the solar market in the Netherlands is remarkable: in 2016, the capacity of PV installations grew by 35 percent in comparison to the previous year, reaching over 2 GW, or so market researcher Peter Segaar estimates. Half of this amount is owed to the small consumers, such as private households, small and medium businesses or schools.
Segaar reckons that almost half a million Dutch households are currently equipped with rooftop panels. According to SMA, a German company specialising in photovoltaic system technology, solar’s popularity with Dutch households is partly due to the high electricity rates in the country.
Unlike Baarsma, Segaar expects only another 0.6 GW to be added to the total capacity throughout the year, reaching 2.6 GW by the end of 2017.