Solar power in the Netherlands

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Solar power in the Netherlands has an installed capacity of around 4,300 megawatt (MW) of photovoltaics as of the end of 2018.[1] Around 1,397 MW of new capacity was installed during 2018, the second highest figure in Europe for that year.[2]


2008 Subsidies of 33 euro cents per kWh were introduced i[3] but initially failed to attract much development, but when they were curtailed, the Dutch banded together to make large purchases at discount instead.[4]

2011 A 500-kilowatt solar array was added to the roof of Rotterdam’s central train station.[5]

2012 Solar capacity more than doubled to 321 MW with new added capacity of 175 MW.[6]

2013 According to the Dutch grid operators, solar capacity grew to a cumulative power of 655.4 MW at the end of 2013 [7]

2014 By August 2014, the total had reached 1 GW mark for the first time.[8]

2015 The Netherlands saw its capacity grow by around 357 MW during 2015, the fourth highest in Europe in that year, its installed capacity per inhabitant remained low at 83.1 Watts per inhabitant compared to the European average of 186.1 Wp/inhab,[9] in particular compared to its neighbour Belgium at 286.7 Wp/inhab.[9]

2016 The largest solar installation in the Netherlands, the 6 MW array at the Wadden-Island Ameland was officially opened in June 2016.[10] Installed capacity per capita rose to 120.1 W, thirteenth position in the EU and nearer to the EU average of 197.8 W than in preceding years.

2019 The largest solar installation in the Netherlands, the 103 MWp array in Groningen, becomes operational.[11]


Deployment of photovoltaic systems in the Netherlands. Nameplate capacity in MWP.[12]

Year MWp
2001 20.5
2002 26.3
2003 45.7
2004 49.2
2005 50.7
2006 52.2
2007 52.8
2008 57.2
2009 67.5
2010 88
2011 146
2012 321
2013 739
2014 1,048
2015 1,526
2016 2,135
2017 2,911
2018 4,522
2019 6,725

Growth of photovoltaics in the Netherlands since 2001 (capacity in megawatts).

In addition to photovoltaics, solar energy is used extensively for heating water, with 332,217 kWth installed by the end of 2011.[13]

Solar PV market by segment[edit]

Installed Capacity in the Netherlands by class size 2017[14]
<10 kW (approx 2,300 MW) 79.1%
10-100kW (90 MW) 3.1%
100-500kW (317 MW) 10.9%
>500kW (200 MW) 6.9%

Nearly 80% of solar power installed in the Netherlands in 2017 was for small systems of less than 10 kW, a large part being rooftop Solar PV. Larger systems over 500 kW accounted for just 6.9% of the total. By the end of 2018 private residential rooftop systems had an installed capacity of 2,307 MW, businesses rooftop systems 1,662 MW whilst solar parks amounted to 444 MW.[15]

Residential Solar PV Capacity[edit]

According to a report on behalf of the European Commission in 2015 the Netherlands had an estimated 1,086 MW of residential solar PV capacity with 232,000 residential solar PV prosumers in the country representing 3 % of households.[16] The average size of residential solar PV systems is estimated to be 4.69kW moving to 2030. [16] The technical potential for residential solar PV in the Netherlands is estimated at 13,945 MW.[16] The payback time for residential Solar PV in the Netherlands is 9.7 years as of 2015.[16] Some of the advantages of small scale residential Solar include eliminating the need for extra land, keeping cost saving advantages in local communities and empowering households to become prosumers of renewable electricity and thus raising awareness of wasteful consumption habits and environmental issues through direct experience. By 2018 residential Solar PV had more than doubled to 2,307 MW.[15]

Solar roads[edit]

In November 2014 SolaRoad, the world's first experimental solar cycle path, was opened in the village of Krommenie. The aim of the project is to test the practicality and cost efficiency of embedding solar panels into a cycle path. The idea is that the path, which is expected to generate 50 to 70 kWh/m² each year, can power anything from street lights or traffic lights to electric cars or houses. The developers of SolaRoad believe that up to 20% of the 140,000 km of road in the Netherlands could be used to harvest solar energy.[17]


See also[edit]


  1. ^ webmaster. "Photovoltaic barometer 2019 | EurObserv'ER". Retrieved 2019-08-20.
  2. ^ "Photovoltaic barometer 2018 | EurObserv'ER". Retrieved 2018-08-21.
  3. ^ Netherlands introduces solar power subsidy
  4. ^ Solar panel surge after subsidy suspension Archived August 13, 2012, at the Wayback Machine
  5. ^ Rotterdam Central Station
  6. ^ Photovoltaic Barometer
  7. ^ Groene Courant, Vermogen zonne-energie bij netbeheerders 214 procent gestegen
  8. ^ Toespraak van minister Kamp bij de Solar Energy Conference, 22 September 2014
  9. ^ a b "Photovoltaic Barometer 2016".
  10. ^ "Zonnepark Ameland | Projectgegevens". Retrieved 2017-03-27.
  11. ^ "Largest solar park in the Netherlands is now operational". Retrieved 2020-06-03.
  12. ^ "Zonnestroom; vermogen bedrijven en woningen, regio (indeling 2018)" (in Dutch). CBS. Retrieved 2020-02-12.
  13. ^ Solar Thermal Markets in Europe
  15. ^ a b "Netherlands reached 4,400 MW of installed PV capacity in 2018". Retrieved 2019-08-21.
  16. ^ a b c d "Study on "Residential Prosumers in the European Energy Union"" (PDF).
  17. ^, Hilary Staples Solar cycle paths - the way forward?, 22 November 2014