PV Magazine – Strong and Stable

Dutch PV opportunities: The Netherlands has been a latecomer to the renewable energy table. Still known as a gas-land, the Netherlands is among the bottom three worst performing countries of Europe when it comes to clean energy. But the country has found the way up and is creating the conditions for a stable and upward trend.

The advantage of deferral has given the Netherlands, a latecomer to the renewable energy table, the edge in being able to learn from other countries’ past mistakes. Along with the urgent need to invest in clean energy in order to meet EU demands, the Netherlands is creating a stable market for the coming years.

The Dutch solar market has been growing at a steady pace for the last five years. It is foreseen that the market will remain stable and grow until at least the end of 2023. The net metering system will be in place until 2020 as guaranteed by the Dutch minister of Economic Affairs. An intense debate has been going on in order to maintain the current net metering system after 2020. Branche organizations who represent installers, home owners, housing corporations, consumers, farmers, and many more all want to maintain the current system. They believe this is necessary since the Netherlands is still way off target with its renewable energy goals. The net metering system is successful and easy to understand to end users and they fear that any change to a system or even a debate for fear of uncertainty will slow growth of a market that is still fragile and has just awoken.

The Dutch parliament passed a resolution in December 2016, which stated that net metering will continue until the end of 2023. Also the Chairperson of the national Agreement on Energy for Sustainable Growth, former minister Ed Nijpels, has said that changing the net metering system after 2020 should not be on the table for debate. His argument is that every kilowatt hour is needed to meet EU targets. The Dutch minister of economic affairs (whose party also passed the resolution to continue net metering until the end of 2023) will make his final decision this spring (possibly after the upcoming elections in March).

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