UTRECHT - Roads filled with self-driving electric cars, powered by solar and wind energy, that are notified by a smart electricity grid on whether they need to store excessive energy or supply energy back to the grid. That’s how Auke Hoekstra, senior advisor smart mobility at the Technical University of Eindhoven, sees the future.
Dutch PV installers tend to use Asian solar photovoltaic (PV) module brands when installing a PV system, according to the “European PV InstallerMonitor 2015/2016,” an European installer survey from German market research specialist EuPD Research (Bonn, Germany).
On May 26th, the 8th annual edition of The Solar Future NL will take place in Utrecht. In preparation for this event, we’re diving into the market once again for an extensive analysis of what is going on in terms of trends, projects, developers, technologies, and much more. With this first article we want to provide our readers with an overview of the Dutch utility-scale solar market, and its main findings will be based on a comparison between what currently are and previously were the country’s largest solar projects.
What can the Dutch market players do to help the PV industry in The Netherlands to reach its peak of advancement? To investigate this complex question further, Mr. Craig Savy, Business Development Manager of DNV GL, shares his expertise on behalf of his company, an international firm known for its world-renowned testing, certification and advisory services to the energy value chain.
Solar PV experts from The Netherlands share one common goal, regardless of where they are specifically involved within the Dutch PV market. As Dennis Gieselaar, Co-Founder of Oskomera, so poignantly states, “The market needs to be educated further. My general drive is to see how we can mobilize the market more towards professionalism and have a greater drive for quality.” He notes that we cannot be willing to just accept low prices above all else, and then expect to see what quality remains. As an expert panelist at Solarplaza’s The Solar Future NL on May 27, 2015 in Rotterdam (www.thesolarfuture.nl), Dennis will discuss in depth the following trending and growing issue of high quality versus low quality solar installations from the perspective of a market leader, and his vision for the future Dutch PV market.
Solar leasing is a hot phenomenon in the United States and Australia, and several other countries around the world that have welcomed the world of solar with open arms. The Dutch PV market has generally gravitated towards privately owned solar panels, however there are enough benefits of a solar leasing scheme that the market is finally open to shifting towards the concept of solar leasing. Shares Mr. Niels Bartels of Suniverse enthusiastically, “As far as trends to watch in The Netherlands for 2015 are concerned, solar leasing will be the trend of the year.”
According to first quarter statistics for 2015, the Dutch PV market is booming again. Installations are on the rise around the country in the form of both rooftop and ground mounted PV installations, and the amount of approximately 370 MW installed capacity is likely to double heading into 2016. We talk to Peter Desmet, CEO of SolarClarity, about his vision on the Dutch solar PV market.
Earlier this year, a major Minnesota construction company announced an agreement with the solar developer SunShare, LLC to collaborate on future projects in the budding community solar garden market.
Solar energy is critical to achieving the Dutch climate goals, market experts tell Solarplaza, the organizer of the coming 7th The Solar Future NL event on 27 May in Rotterdam. More and more Dutch companies and households opt for solar power to reduce their energy bills and actively participate in the energy transition. ‘A spike in larger business projects bring a dramatic growth in 2015’.
Energy utilities have been perceived, by some, as proponents of conventional forms of energy such as natural gas, nuclear and coal, and less supportive of newer, renewable energy sources. However, one of the largest utility companies from the United States stands out as a “green” leader and strong proponent of renewable energy, more specifically, solar PV. By 2020, they are expecting that more than 10% of their generation mix will be in the form of solar energy. Additionally, approximately 160,000 of its customers have solar systems on their roofs -- and this number is currently growing by about 50,000 customers per year. Furthermore, it will soon be launching an option whereby all customers can go 100% solar through a new Community Solar program.
The Dutch solar PV market has several projects coming down the pipeline, making the latter part of 2015 extremely appealing for key players within the industry. Recent studies expect the Dutch market to double the installed PV capacity over the next two years, with 2015 as the first year where multiple 10+ MWp parks have been announced. While the amount of solar fields in The Netherlands at present is quite small, the shift taking place this year is bringing a striking increase to average project size. Each of the projects listed in the first ten of the project Top 20 will be built in fields, showing a considerable change happening within the Dutch PV market.
Orange Solar Power is setting up a solar module factory in West-Brabant with a production capacity of 70 megawatts, or 280,000 solar modules. The factory will create jobs for 60 people and will be accomplished in two phases. Phase 1, encompassing a production line of 15 megawatts of flexible solar modules, will be realized in the third quarter of 2015.
Pacific Gas & Electric Company (PG&E) today announced that it has reached a significant milestone by connecting the 150,000th solar customer to its electric grid. In addition, during 2014, the utility connected more rooftop solar customers to its grid than any other year in its history. More than 45,000 new solar customers were added in 2014 alone. During this time period, PG&E added approximately 326 MW of installed solar power – enough to power more than 70,000 homes.
The Dutch PV market pioneered the solar industry in Europe, despite having been surpassed by other European markets in the last few years, such as Germany and Sweden, who were eager to gain a foothold in the rapidly expanding solar PV industry. While the Dutch market has by no means slowed down on the number of installations occurring per year, in fact 2014 finally broke the 1 GW installed capacity threshold, Germany on the other hand, has long since secured the position as the world’s leading PV market with a notable 38 GW overall installed capacity in January 2015. However, as experts Peter Segaar, Market Researcher for Polder PV and Professor Wim Sinke, Program Development Manager Solar Energy with ECN discussed during Solarplaza’s webinar on March 18 (access webinar recordings here), the Dutch market is making immense strides and has no intentions of slowing down.
During 2014, the Dutch solar market broke through the 1 GWp threshold of installed solar capacity. Aside from a growing number of small-scale roof installations, a number of large scale projects were installed and gained a foothold in Solarplaza’s ever growing list of Biggest Dutch Solar Projects. Check out the Top 10, read the article to download the full list (see the bottom of the article for instructions), and get a complete grasp of the major installations presently in The Netherlands.
SOLARRSERVER - SolarCity Corp. (San Mateo, California, U.S.) and DIRECTV (Long Beach, California, U.S.), a provider of digital television entertainment services, are teaming up to make affordable solar power even more accessible for homeowners in major cities across the country.
About four years ago, Sungevity, now a top 5 residential solar installer in the US, had less than 10% of business coming from person to person referrals. Recognizing the impact and opportunity of today’s social media world, the founders brought in Patrick Crane, former VP Marketing of LinkedIn and Yahoo, as CMO. “At present, roughly one-third of Sungevity’s business every month is purely customer referrals, so in other words, we have seen P2P referrals triple over the last few years,” starts Mr. Crane, who will be speaking at The Solar Future Netherlands Conference on May 27, 2015 in Rotterdam.
On Thursday January 22, Solarplaza organized a brainstorm session with a select group of experts from the solar industry. To create an interesting and distinctive program, these experts from the PV sector, financial services and the energy market came together to discuss their vision for the future of the PV market in The Netherlands, as well as the subjects which should be discussed during the coming edition of The Solar Future NL. This interactive brainstorm session was the official kick-off for all preparations for the conference!
Solar Trend Report 2015: turnover Dutch solar sector 2.424 million EURO, possibly 500+ MW installed in 2014
The turnover of the Dutch solar energy sector increased to 2.424 million EURO in 2014, compared to 1.825 million EURO in 2013, according to recent studies available in the Solar Trend Report 2015.