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Netherlands Sees Higher Solar Capacity, But Not Lower Prices

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Energy Post ( is an independent, open-access energy publication started in June 2013 by Karel Beckman from Amsterdam, the Netherlands. We publish a mixture of original articles...

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EP-News-Logo2 (1)-newIn the Netherlands 525 MW of solar power capacity was installed in 2016, bringing total solar capacity to 2 GW, which supplied 1.5% of Dutch electricity generation, according to the National Solar Trend Report 2017 (available here in Dutch), a collaboration of many private and public players in the Dutch solar sector.

The new capacity was slightly higher than in 2015, when 467 MW was installed. The port of Rotterdam imported 11.2 million solar panels in 2016 with a value of €1.5 billion. Some 9 million panels were re-exported or stored temporarily, the rest was used in the country itself. A huge shift took place in the origin of the panels: in January 2016, some 63% still came from China, in December that was only 17%. Over the full year, the Chinese share declined from 58% in 2015 to 38% in 2016. By contrast, imports from Vietnam rose from zero in 2015 to 31% in2016. Malaysia and Singapore were the other large suppliers.

All panels came from Asia. The modules came from China (40%),  Germany (19%), Japan (11%), US/Canada (8%). The Dutch solar sector offered 9,275 full-time jobs last year and generated revenues of €2.5 billion.

Average module prices were stable for the second year in a row. The price of inverters was also stable. Efficiency improved considerably. In particular cadmium-telluride (CdTe) thin-film panels, organic solar cells and multi-junction solar cells showed much higher efficiencies.

The objective of the 2016 National Solar Action Plan – an initiative of technical consultancy DNV GL, supported by a broad spectrum of market participants (banks, producers, network companies, insurance companies, energy suppliers, research institutes) – is to have 10 GW of solar power installed in 2023.  Studies show that the built environment in the Netherlands could accommodate some 70 GW of solar capacity, notes the Trend Report. The long-term potential of solar power in the Netherlands could be as high as 200 GW, according to the report.

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mona crue on Feb 22, 2017

If electrical codes were updated and new standards were created for voltage and plugs, you could run most electronics like phone chargers, computers, TV’s, radios, LED lights, etc. directly off the DC produced by the solar panels. Running off DC would also allow you to store the excess power on batteries. You could then use the stored energy directly from the batteries at night. Then the only thing you would use the power company’s AC power would be for big things like A/C, washer & dryer, vacuum, etc. Running DC in the home also means no more interconnects, charge-back schemes and no inverters, which are a good chunk of the cost of current solar solutions. That’s the real, long-term solution. But instead, this reports deals with improving financing, shared projects, tariffs, and removing government barriers (for good and bad). In other words, solutions designed to enrich the solar energy providers now, rather than providing a bright and clean long-term future.

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