By Roy L Hales
A 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 (http://www.polderpv.nl/ ), 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 CBS estimates with an outdated – alleged – specific yield * 700 kWh / kWp.jaar for the entire population grid-connected systems is estimated by statisticians at the end of a year (the last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:
affaire_NL_actueel.htm# 1sep2013_de_curieuze_315GWh_ van_AgNL
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).