A new report from the Association of Dutch Network Operators predicts strong growth for the Dutch solar electricity sector despite possible international scenarios.
The report is an updated version of the Integral Infrastructure Outlook 2030-2050 study, a study produced by Dutch consulting firms Berenschot and Kalava. It outlines four growth scenarios for climate-neutral energy supply by 2050, based on four different political outcomes.
The “regional scenario” predicts the largest expansion of solar power, up to a staggering 180 GW of installed capacity. In its previous version, this scenario foresees “only” 125 GW. Installed solar energy capacity would come from 58 GW of utility solar power and 125 GW rooftop systemsof which 67 GW in commercial and industrial buildings and 58 GW in residential buildings.
This scenario is characterized by high electrification of the energy system and a reduction in industrial activity as the country becomes self-sufficient in terms of electricity supply. Gas would still have a role as backup supply or as green gas from local biomass and green hydrogen from wind and solar generation. Wind power is expected to increase to 60 GW, while reserve power would increase to 20 GW.
According to the “national scenario”, the central government takes the lead in the energy transition, and the share of utility-scale renewables is greater than that of distributed generation. Total wind capacity is expected to reach 92 GW, while solar will reach 172 GW, with 18 GW of backup power and 15 GW for hydrogen.
The “European scenario” includes the theoretical introduction of a carbon dioxide tax at EU level. The Netherlands is expected to remain an energy importer in these prospects, favoring clean energy of European origin.
The deployment of solar energy is expected to rise to 126.3 GW, of which 35 GW would come from ground-mounted solar power plants. Aggregate demand is expected to be much higher than in the regional and national scenarios.
The “international scenario” assumes fully open international markets and a strong climate policy at the global level. The Netherlands would not be self-sufficient and would still be dependent on imports.
“Renewable energy is being produced on a large scale in strategic locations around the world,” experts said, noting that solar capacity would rise to 100 GW. “This means that the Netherlands will mainly adopt offshore wind because it can compete on price internationally due to favorable conditions in the North Sea.”
The researchers said so solar electricity in residential buildings can supply 55% of the grid’s maximum peak in 2040. Ssolar parks and other solar generators would account for the remaining 45 percent.
The Netherlands reached 16.5 GW of cumulative installed solar power capacity at the end of June 2022, according to the latest statistics from the country’s statistics agency CBS. It also said the nation would install 3,803 MW in 2021 and 3,882 MW in 2022.