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PV Solar energy, A comparison of The Netherlands and Germany on PV solar energy from 2000 till 2006

By Douwe Beerda


The Netherlands used only a very small percentage (6.5%) of self generated renewable electricity in 2006. Depending on fossil fuels on a large scale has numerous disadvantages on strategic, health, environment and climate grounds. A solution can be found in the use of renewable energy. Since the sun is -by far- the biggest source of energy, the renewable energy source that directly converts solar energy into electricity (PV solar energy) is chosen as the renewable energy source to focus on for this research. Germany is world leader in PV solar energy at time of this research and therefore it can be regarded as a best practice example for The Netherlands. The main goal of this research is to identify the success factor(s) for the PV solar energy success in Germany. Once determined, the question is if these success factors can be implemented into the Netherlands to increase PV solar energy use in the Netherlands and whether this is wanted or not. First a quantitative analysis is made of PV solar energy use in both countries from 2000 till 2006. This showed that in absolute terms Germany used 63 times more PV solar energy, relatively Germany used 12 times more PV solar energy than the Netherlands in the last year of comparison 2006. Comparing policies of both countries in the time span 2000 to 2006 showed that the German government is much more focused on PV solar energy as a serious energy option than the Dutch government. This heightened interest of Germany in PV solar energy is reflected in their policies, of which the policy known as the Erneubare Energie Gesetz (EEG) is identified as the specific success factor for the increased PV solar energy use in Germany. The selection of the EEG as a success factor for PV solar energy is strengthened since this policy contains all success factors for good policy which are long term planning security for investors, technology specific remuneration for green power and strong efforts in the field of power supply systems (grid extension, fair access to the grid etc.) Also in a broader context, the EEG is regarded as an example to promote PV solar energy by third party policy makers. After the identification of the EEG as success factor, an actor study was made by interviewing eight actors in the Dutch PV solar energy field to gain insights if an EEG is possible and wanted in the Netherlands. Actors were asked their general opinion about Dutch policy, their opinion about the EEG, and also their power to influence policy makers. From the data that was gained by these interviews appears that all actors see a big role for PV solar energy in the future, 2050 and further, electricity supply of the Netherlands. The actors also agree that an introduction of a Dutch EEG is theoretically possible although some adjustments must be made. However the question whether this is wanted resulted in different opinions. Of the eight actors four are in favor of an introduction of a Dutch EEG, two are neutral and two do not want an EEG. Since the power of the actors is different and the opponents in this case out power the proponents, the Netherlands, until the day of this research, does not have an EEG like regulation that stimulates the large scale implementation of PV solar energy. It is interesting that the current sectors in the Netherlands that oppose a Dutch EEG were also the sectors in Germany that opposed the EEG introduction there. In Germany however politicians made the choice to put PV solar energy on the map and started in 2000, in The Netherlands this choice has not (yet) been made by politicians.

Year: 2008
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