Solar parks become more popular as green energy rises by 40 percent
The amount of green energy, derived from wind parks, biomass, or solar panels increased by 40 percent in the Netherlands in the past year, the Statistics Netherlands (CBS) reports.
The energy production of solar panels saw the largest increase at nearly 50 percent. In 2019, 5.3 billion kWh came from solar panels. That rose to 8.1 billion kWh in 2020. The total capacity of solar panels increased by 3 thousand megawatts to slightly more than 10 thousand megawatts. Overall, between 36 to 37 million solar panels can be found in the Netherlands at the moment.
“A remarkable increase”, Cor Pierik from the CBS says to NOS. “Normally we would say that wind energy has risen sharply at 30 percent but solar energy has shown an even greater increase. Solar energy is clearly catching up.”
Wind energy still remains the front-runner in producing green energy at 45 percent, stemming primarily from the two new wind parks in Borssele and on the coast of Zeeuw. The overall capacity of wind parks has risen from 600 megawatts to 4100 megawatts. Biomass accounts for 29 percent of all sustainable energy produced, and 26 percent are attributed to solar energy.
Current debates around transitioning to more sustainable methods of producing energy in the Netherlands are centered mainly around increasing the capacity of solar energy. The lack of space and the disruption of biodiversity near solar parks are difficulties that come with installing more solar panels.
In order to not interfere with the eco-system, placing solar panels on roofs would be the preferred option, the National Program of the Regional Energy Strategy (RES) said, according to NOS. The dilemma here is that the owner of a building is by no means always the person actually living in the home. The savings of the energy bill would thus go to the user and not to the owner who installed the solar panels.
Such issues are all solvable, but “it requires an active government that takes visible action, at all levels of government, to accelerate the installation of solar panels on roofs”, Pierik says.
Solar parks on the ground are not undesirable, but Pierik said, “the government is too dependent on other actors to achieve the agreements in the climate accord by 2030 without a large-scale appeal to the agricultural sector.”