Netherlands identifies 725 km2 of solar-suitable rooftops to increase PV capacity

28 May, 2024

The integration of applications and infrastructure to take advantage of natural energy resources, such as photovoltaic energy, is becoming increasingly evident in our daily environment.

A clear example of this is that the Dutch government, through a new open-access PV database, has discovered that approximately 50% of all rooftops in the Netherlands could potentially host PV systems. However, only 8% of them could immediately accommodate solar arrays without the need for obstacle removal.

The Dutch solar market added 4.82 GW of new PV capacity in 2023, according to the “National Solar Trendrapport 2023” study, which was recently published by consultancy Dutch New Energy (DNE) Research.

Around 2.5 GW of last year’s new capacity came from residential installations, up from 2.2 GW in the preceding year. The remaining 2.4 GW came from the commercial, industrial, and large-scale segments.

Rijksdienst voor Ondernemend Nederland (RVO), a state-owned agency in the Netherlands, published an open-access database in December 2023 of all rooftops and parking areas across the country that could be used for solar panel installations.

A few months after its launch, the RVO said the new tool has already helped to identify around 725 km2 of rooftops that could host PV systems. This represents around 50% of the country’s rooftops. Of this surface area, however, only 8% is directly suitable for installing solar panels,” the agency said in a statement. “In other cases, obstacles must first be resolved.”

The RVO said that potential obstacles include skylights, segmented roof shapes, weak roof structures, or the presence of asbestos. The database presents data for all municipalities and regions in which there is available space. It also features a data viewer highlighting obstacles, as well as grid-congestion risks, connection issues, and existing PV systems.

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