Dutch PV GRID workshop - April 23rd, 2014 - Rotterdam

Organizer: Holland Solar

Date: April 23th , 2014

Time: 13:00 - 16:00

On April 23th 2014 the national workshop PV Grid was organized by Holland Solar, the Dutch association of solar companies, and hosted by Stedin, one of the main Dutch grid operators. Main goal was to learn about the results from PV Grid, to give an outlook and what can be our challenges on the grids, and to discuss further developments in the Netherlands.

There were two sessions; one in the morning with an open invitation to all interested sectors and one in the afternoon only with (grid) professionals and decision makers. The stakeholders that participated in the morning had diverse backgrounds operating in several areas: DSO’s, TSO, ministry of economic affairs, (green) business associations, solar industries and their suppliers, project developers, universities, consultants, pro-sumer representatives and (regulatory) experts. The dedicated afternoon workshop was only for DSO, TSO, Economic affairs and regulatory affairs/ experts (Dutch regulatory affair ACM was however not present).

Many participants considered the European dimension of PV Grid as valuable because lessons can be learned from other countries. On the other hand it was stressed that the Dutch context was taken into account. Although the percentage of solar power is still very low there are no mayor problems expected in the near future, even with the present rapid growth of PV. This is because some specific aspects of the Dutch grid sector.

·         The Dutch grid is in an excellent state and well connected. It can absorb and distribute the growing amount of decentral electrical production, and there is time for adapting to higher penetrations of renewable electricity. Charging stations of electrical vehicels and heat pumps give higher challenges that PV.

·         There are few DSO's, compared to other countries. For electricit we count only 8 DSO's. They easily share knowledge and are also organised through the DSO association Netbeheer Nederland.

·         A strict division between power companies and grid operators is in force. As a result of this, the focus of a DSO is facilitating developments and needs in the electricity sector, the growth of prosumers included. This means also that DSO's are pro active concerning adapting renewables.

·         There are no Dutch PV parks. There are however some attempts to develop larger projects around highways and, on old land-fill and on not developped business areas of municipalities. These attempts, however, fail. Reasons are mainly that it is not financial viable, because lack of feed in tarrif (only spock market price), problems with getting permits and problems with spacial policies and processes. Although SDE is available, the chance of getting the grant is not very high, and if granted, the tarrif is not high. On top of that, project developers bear the risk  of pre investing to get the permits without the garantuee of getting a SDE grants. Investors will not take this risk in the Netherlands. This means no parks for the time begin and therefor: congestion due to high power injection by PV does not occur fot the time being.

·         DSO's are adaptive to new needs, and are active in (technical and adminstrative) innovations like smart-grid development. They  explore options to have more (legal, financial and technical) possibilities for electrical car charging stations, exploiting small local storages and demand side management.

·         DSO's complain about the lack of information about installed pv capacity locally. There is no mandatory registration of PV installation in the residential sector. DSO started however a voluntarily registration with a high rate of succes. They are working on new policies on mandatory registration. This is not easy with net metering as only option for residential sector. There is no incentive for registration, nor a whay to penalize non registration.

·         DSO's are confronted with a strong do-it-yourself mentality amongst a growing group of citizens that increasingly expect from grid operators to facilitate their wishes. They experience a rapid growth of interested individuals and collectives, with specific questions and needs. The DSO's are triggered to develop their client services to a higher level. 

In sum, the participants strongly advised to discuss the context specific situation in the Netherlands, and that European rules and regulations should facilitate these context specific developments rather than coming up with generic regulations that could hamper the Dutch national developments.

Download the documents of the workshop here

Dutch Workshop pictures