Dutch PV braces for fresh grid connection limits after ‘record’ 2019

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin
Share on reddit
Share on email
Image credit: Paul van de Velde

Dutch PV players are to face yet more grid connection limits in 2020, with one of the major operators warning of spreading bottlenecks after a year of record solar additions.

Liander, one of the Netherlands’ largest network operators, said in recent days it will have to restrict project connection requests again in 2020, adding to curbs it had already announced in 2019.

In a statement last Friday, the group repeated a pledge to invest €882 million (US$972 million) in grid upgrades this year but warned that holding off requests will remain necessary.

Liander laid out a number of “orange scarcity areas” in the provinces of Friesland, Gelderland and Noord-Holland, where capacity is unavailable but solutions are being “investigated”.

In addition, the firm offered a list of “red scarcity areas” in the aforementioned provinces and three others, where bottlenecks are more serious and alleviation measures are not an option.

Energy projects submitting connection requests in these code-red areas will have to wait until the grid upgrades have had the time to materialise, Liander explained.

Europe’s third PV installer grapples with congestion

For Dutch PV, the past few years have combined meteoric growth – at 2.5GW added in 2019, the country is now seen as the year’s third fastest European installer – with pressure from politicians.

The industry’s success reaping billions in state incentives and putting forward ever larger projects has triggered a clampdown from lawmakers, who worry over impacts on grid and land scarcity.

As it outlined the 2020 grid restrictions, Liander attributed the bottlenecks to the rapid rise of solar, together with data centers and other energy-intensive applicants including greenhouse farming.

Reviewing PV installation volumes for 2019, the grid operator found additions had grown at rates from 34% to 59% across all of the Dutch provinces it serves, describing it as a “record”.

Where a PV plant can be commissioned within a year, grid upgrades can take five to eight years, Liander argued, adding: “The Netherlands is not geared to these developments.”

In the past, however, PV bodies have blamed the bottlenecks on grid operators themselves. Holland Solar has, for one, said Liander and others failed to anticipate how quickly green energy would grow.

See here to browse the list and map of areas where Liander will restrict grid connection requests

The prospects and challenges of solar's new era in Europe and beyond will take centre stage at Solar Media's Solar Finance & Investment Europe (London, 5-6 February) and Large Scale Solar Europe 2020 (Lisbon, on 31 March-1 April 2020).

Read Next

January 21, 2022
The European Commission has launched a public consultation on solar energy on the continent as it continues preparations to publish its solar strategy later this year.
January 19, 2022
Renewables developer R.Power has signed a power purchase agreement (PPA) with energy trader Axpo for nearly 300MWp of solar in Poland.
January 11, 2022
Solar PV power generation in Vietnam could about to be maximised through the integration of battery energy storage systems (BESS), with consultancy AqualisBraemar LOC Group (ABL Group) hired to conduct feasibility studies across multiple PV plants following curtailment issues in the country.
January 6, 2022
PV Tech speaks to Philipp Matter, president for Europe at GCL System Integration, to discuss last year's supply chain crises, targeting growth in Europe and the prospects for competing new solar technologies.
January 5, 2022
Around 5.3GW of solar was installed in Germany last year, however the trade body has warned that additional barriers will need to be “torn down” if the new German coalition government’s target of 200GW of operational solar capacity by 2030 is to be met.
PV Tech Premium
December 30, 2021
As operational solar assets mature, news of repowering projects is steadily ramping up. Alice Grundy takes a look at what’s influencing decisions and just when the right time to repower is.

Subscribe to Newsletter

Upcoming Events

Upcoming Webinars
January 26, 2022
Free Webinar
Solar Media Events
February 23, 2022
London, UK
Solar Media Events
March 8, 2022
London, UK
Solar Media Events
March 23, 2022
Austin, Texas, USA
Solar Media Events
March 29, 2022
Lisbon, Portugal