Review of net metering could push energy storage in Netherlands

7/11/17, 11:00 AM -

Interview: Erik De Leeuw, General Manager of Solarwatt in the Netherlands sees a growing commercial PV market in the country, led by housing cooperations. He bunks on the planned revision of the net metering system to push energy storage and self-consumption.

Erik le Leeuw, General Manager of Solarwatt in the Netherlands says the company is investing in glass-glass solar panels, energy storage systems and energy management systems in the Netherlands.
Solarwatt has a network of around 200 installers in the Netherlands and cooperates presently with 15 Premium installers in the field of energy storage, General Manager Erik De Leeuw says.

pv europe: What are your expectations for the growth of the Dutch PV market in 2017?

Erik De Leeuw: In 2017, the Dutch solar power market will still grow continuously. Residential sector remains stable with around 250 MW and growth is expected within the commercial segment, especially housing corporations. The total PV build-up in 2016 was between 520 MW to 540 MW. It is expected that this will grow to 600 MW.  

Is there a market for self-consumption?

At the moment there is only a niche market for demonstrations projects, because the Netherlands still has a form of net metering what we call salderen. This means setting off the consumed electricity with the supplied electricity by the customer itself via the same connection. This allows the customer to receive the same price (including taxes and VAT) for the energy supplied in return as it pays for the energy it consumes at a different time from the energy supplier

With how many installers are you cooperating in the Netherlands?

In total, we have around 200 installers. For energy storage systems we cooperate with our 15 Premium installers.

Where do you see drivers for PV and energy storage in the Netherlands, what are hurdles?

It depends on whether the “salderingregeling“ will stay. The Dutch minister of economic affairs, Mr. Kamp, has announced that he wants to review the current regulation in 2017 with possible adjustments to it after 2020. Reasons enough to formulate proposals before 2017 to ensure the future stability. The main discussion on net metering takes place at a working group of the Dutch Association of Renewable Energy (NVDE) named Decentralized Power Generation (Decentrale Stroomopwekking). Its members are solar energy companies, grid operators, energy companies, ODE Decentraal, and other NVDE members. They are led by the sector association Holland Solar. If net metering will be adjusted, self-consumption and storage will be interesting. If not, it will remain an niche market

Do you support to stop net metering?

In my opinion to encourage people to generate their own energy the net metering system must continue to be rewarding. Energy storage should be integrated though and supported by all relevant existing and future energy and climate regulations and legislation. A coordinated interplay of various storage forms will help to continue the growth of solar PV in the energy mix. In addition to huge environmental benefits this provides a very positive contribution to employment. Therefore we as Solarwatt invest in both glass-glass solar panels, storage systems and energy management systems.

Interviewed by Hans-Christoph Neidlein

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