Erroneous Reports of Dutch PV FIT Installations

By Roy L Hales

Screen shot 2014-03-18 at 3.43.47 PMA report that the Dutch Feed-in-tariff system installed 665.470 MW of gird-connected PV installations by the end of 2013 appears to be erroneous.  According to Peter Segaar, from the Dutch website Polder PV (, the official figures have not yet been released and Economic Affairs Minister Henk Kamp has suggested (in his August 29, 2013 letter to Parliament ) that there will be NO evaluation of that rebate programme. If the present cabinet has its way, “it will never more be repeated.” (Rutte II).

Segaar was clarifying two stories that have been picked up by North American media.

According to PV Tech, “The Dutch solar rebate fund was launched 1 July 2012, with a budget of €22 million (US$29.2 million) and was extended by €30 million (US$39.9 million) in November 2012, after 33,000 projects were granted rebates totalling €18.7 million (US$24.8 million) … Approximately 315MW of solar has been installed under the scheme as of 7 August 2013, and there is now no more funding available.”

A follow up, from the same site, states that the Dutch introduced a number of reforms and installed 665.470 MW by the end of 2013.

It is not known how many sites picked these stories up, but this site was among them.

Peter Segaar wrote that the 315 MW figure originated as “an erroneous misinterpretation of the former (government) agency’s press department. This has been confirmed by an employee there in a personal communication to me (that person was on holiday when those curious numbers were published). That high volume “cannot match” the approximate 90,000 systems under the rebate scheme, since average system capacity under that programme has been far below the 3,5 kWp suggested (or implied) on average per installation.”

“Definitive numbers are still not known for that (initial) ‘rebate programme,’ which was only one of many political stupidities, and lasted only from July 2, 2012, up till August 7, 2013, when the programme was through the maximum budget allocated. There was no control or demand whatever on quality, just a max. EUR 650 fee you could obtain.”

As regards the total number of megawatts supposedly installed under the Dutch PV Fit program, Segaar wrote, “There is much to do on the production figures of solar panels in the Netherlands, I complain about it for many years. CBS estimates with an outdated – alleged – specific yield * 700 kWh / kWp.jaar for the entire population grid-connected systems is estimated by statisticians at the end of a year (the last few years with help from my supplier lists). For autonomous, non grid-connected installations CBS used an equally debatable number of 400 kWh / kWp.jaar to “multiply.” The year-end accumulation (up PV power) with And thus a fictive available (not measured) “production of solar electricity.” The assumptions are highly questionable, because nothing is measured, and important factors is not at all taken into account.”

Mr Segaar has provided links to a number of his articles (some in Dutch, others with a translation available) which contain graphs and statistics:

Mr Segaar’s evidence appears substantial enough to dismiss any further repetition of the 665.470 MW figure unless it is confirmed by a great deal of supporting evidence (which presently seems unlikely).

Photo Credit: “E.V.A. Lanxmeer VegetalHedge 2009” by Lamiot – Own work. Licensed under GFDL via Wikimedia Commons

2 thoughts on “Erroneous Reports of Dutch PV FIT Installations”

  1. Thanx for further clarification. It still remains difficult to explain the very complicated situation in Netherlands, because there have been – and still are, to a certain extent – different kinds of incentives. It is extremely hard to obtain reliable, unmistakable data for the whole country. This in addition to the extreme dynamics with many projects and players moving around in total chaos.

    Registration in the so-called PIR register (which added up to the mentioned 665 MW, published in an update in the so-called Klimaatmonitor database on February 28, 2014) is not legally binding. Because it is “just” an initiative by the net managers.

    The PIR register therefore, can never be equalled to total capacity installed in Netherlands. Total is more. The Big Question is, of course: how much more? No one knows. For one thing: the biggest installations, such as “ancient” Floriade roof Vijfhuizen (2.3 megawatts realised in 2002, still biggest installation in Netherlands!), are, or seem to be NOT represented in that PIR register.

    And so on.

    Note that what could distantly be interpreted as “a FIT” programme, the here unmentioned “SDE” and its follow-up (as of 2011), “SDE+”, has dwindled in significance since its troublesome inception on April 1, 2008. Perhaps only 90 megawatts have materialized under that separate scheme, in almost 6 years. A scheme that has been revised several times. And for which residential installations have become a no-going area as of 2011: minimum size 15 kWp, since 2012 minimum capacity on the net distribution point over 3x 80 amps. Hence, only a (low) incentive for companies. For which in the present year accumulation with another, so-called EIA taxation reduction scheme has been forbidden (each year another “surprise”).

    SDE (“the Dutch sort-of-FIT”) may have dwindled to below 15% of total realized volume in 2013. The new-built total installed capacity 2013 remains as yet unknown. The statistics bureau CBS will only publish first numbers in May this year, helped by continuous updates of PV-seller listings by me.

    Most capacity in Netherlands has been, and still is, residential. The business-case for those installations is, however, NOT “a FIT”. But net-metering / billing over a period of a year. For the largest part of residential installations for the end-consumer price of app. 22-23 Eurocents/kWh (including 21% VAT, up till 5000 kWh surplus / “net feed-in” onto the net in a year). A kWh tariff consisting of at least 70% taxations, the biggest chunk being “energytax” (“energiebelasting”, 11.85 Eurocents/kWh ex VAT).

    That is the reason, why the very succesfull net-metering scheme in Netherlands is under serious threat, and possibly will be changed yet again into a tax-reduction tariff. That can be manipulated each year by the Dutch bureaucrats. Such as has been formulated by Henk Kamp of Economic Affairs ministry in the Hague…

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