Effective and increased usage of residential sustainable generated energy (mainly due to solar panels) eventually requires home or neighbourhood storage facilities. It’s a subject which we have been focusing on for many years.
According to the latest report of Solar Power Europe – European Market Outlook for Residential Battery Storage 2021-2025:“ In 2020, around 140,000 household battery systems with a combined storage capacity over 1 GWh were installed in Europe”. A remarkable achievement !
Another important quote from the report: “In the Netherlands no major changes are bound to happen in the near future. Here, the net-metering regulation for residential PV systems is still the most important barrier for self-consumption through batteries and will remain fully in force until 2023.” In our opinion the financial preconditions in The Netherlands needs to be tweaked to accommodate better and more sustainability components in order to meet the national climate targets. We realise that discussions on this subject are ongoing and that certain changes can be expected, but how soon? (re. also: https://www.aarten-es.com/blog-post/acm-transmission-tariffs-cannot-be-an-impediment-to-the-construction-of-power-storages/).
The report “European Market Outlook for Residential Battery Storage 2021-2025” also shows some interesting insights into the future cost developments. We expect battery manufacturing costs to reduce further, particularly if the actual installed numbers increase.
Let’s learn from the German experience. As mentioned in our blog “The Sustainable Home: providing insights into various possibilities”, featuring amongst other, Zonatlas, it’s very important to provide useful insights to homeowners so they can assess what the potential of electricity storage can bring to them. Zonatlas works very closely with German based tetraeder.solar, and therefore brings German experience into the Netherlands. (re. https://www.aarten-es.com/blog-post/the-sustainable-home-providing-insights-into-various-possibilities/).
In summary: this very relevant report, with a broad focus, issued by the international organisation Solar Power Europe, once again shows the various current possibilities to accelerate the energy transition. For further details, please click here.
Much is written about the desired sustainability steps in our home or business space. Many owners are already doing well individually; others tackle the actions collectively. But apart from the approach, insights are first needed into the possibilities and the cost consequences. But where do we get the information from? And which sources of information can we trust?
This article focuses on the situation in The Netherlands, but the experiences can obviously be applied elsewhere.
Frequently Asked Questions
What can we do now, and what later? After all, the ultimate heat supply must also fit into the local/municipal development plans. The last thing any individual homeowner wants to do is invest uselessly. For example: will the natural gas network continue to exist and will we eventually switch to green gas and/or hydrogen? Or is the heating of our building completely realised without the use of natural gas and/or sustainable gases, and what are those options? What about the connection to a nearby heat network? Can we already install a hybrid heat pump, because the savings in natural gas consumption and the resulting cost reductions are already such that a good and affordable sustainability step can be taken, regardless of what the future local/municipal situation will be?
And then there are the questions about the degree of technological development (is the device well developed and will it not cause unnecessary malfunctions) and the associated costs. The positive development of solar panels over the past 20 years shows an enormous improvement in performance and reliability and cost reductions.
Municipal Plans in the Netherlands
The municipal plans will be formulated in a so-called Local Energy Strategy (LES), which will have a close relationship with the Regional Energy Strategy (RES). So it is important to request this information via the relevant municipal website. This gives an idea of the plans for the next 10-20 years. However, regardless of these municipal visions, it always pays to start implementing energy-saving measures as soon as possible (e.g. apply insulation where possible, but consider good ventilation; HR++ glass or better; energy-efficient household appliances). Furthermore, it is always smart to install solar panels where possible.
In this context, we would therefore like to refer to “Zonatlas.nl” and “Warmtepompplein.nl” respectively, which currently makes certain information freely available to individual house/building owners in The Netherlands. Please note: Zonatlas.nl = Solar energy information platform. Warmtepompplein.nl = Information portal on heat pumps.
Solar energy – information via Zonatlas.nl
Via Zonatlas, an individual homeowner or company in The Netherlands can easily see for themselves what the electricity generation potential of the property is by means of solar panels. Re. link: https://www.zonatlas.nl/start/
Note: Zonatlas has calculated and mapped the suitability of almost all roofs in the Netherlands. By using, among other things, height data, multi-year weather data, and intensity calculation of solar radiation, the inclination angle(s), orientation points relative to the sun, shadow areas and even more technical data are combined to calculate the solar energy yield of a roof. And accurate to 30cm! Zonatlas has mapped out the solar energy yield of more than 13 million buildings in the Netherlands.
Furthermore, Zonatlas offers additional information if the Dutch municipality, to which the specified postcode with house number belongs, has a membership on Zonatlas. We will give 2 examples in this regard. (1) On the Zonatlas-website one can ‘turn on’ a home battery and see what the effects are. We have already pointed out the importance of home or neighbourhood batteries in separate blogs. Re. link: https://www.aarten-es.com/language/en/news-storage/. The battery developments will be much needed to accelerate the transition in an effective and affordable way. (2) One can also examine the effects of heat generation, of the energy generated by solar collectors/solar boiler.
Another development, available on request, focuses on providing insight into the effects of connecting an electric car to the home solar panel system.
Heat supply – information via Warmtepompplein.nl
With Warmtepompplein.nl, an individual homeowner or company in The Netherlands can discover which heat pump fits best. Re. link: https://warmtepompplein.nl/quickscan/. By entering postal code and house number, one will receive advice for an all-electric and hybrid air-water heat pump. Note. This tool is based on the formulas described in ISSO 51 (Standard Heat Loss Calculation). A heat pump does require electricity, which in turn can be partially or fully compensated by installing (extra) solar panels. Therefore, the link with Zonatlas is important.
Providing more insights through an integrated/holistic approach
The writer of this blog has permission to state here that ‘behind the scenes of Zonatlas and Warmtepompplein’, significant work is being done to link the various sustainability components together in a smart way, so good insights into the sustainability options of one’s own building can be obtained in a simple and effective manner. However, the available tools already provide a good insight!
In this IEA report, it’s mentioned that cities account for more than 50% of the global population, 80% of global GDP, two-thirds of global energy consumption and more than 70% of annual global carbon emissions. According to IEA, these factors are expected to grow significantly in the coming decades: it is anticipated that by 2050 more than 70% of the world’s population will live in cities, resulting in massive growth in demand for urban energy infrastructure. Read more by clicking here ……
On July 14, 2021, the European Commission adopted a package of proposals to make the EU’s climate, energy, land use, transport and taxation policies fit for reducing net greenhouse gas emissions by at least 55% by 2030, compared to 1990 levels. Quite a lot has been published in the media about these plans, but we only refer to the following link, which clearly shows the details. Please click here for further information ……
It continues to be worthwhile to read IEA articles and commentaries on various energy developments.
In a recent article by the IEA (for details click here), the authors emphasise the fact that fossil fuel subsidies are creating an uneven playing field for clean energy. IEA organisation monitors energy prices that consumers pay around the world, and compares them with so-called reference prices. In this way the IEA estimates the size of subsidies over time.
In the context of aiming for a sustainable world, this article shows that there is still quite some work to do internationally.
Despite an interesting recent article in the Dutch FD (*), by Mathijs Bouman, on the accuracy of forecasting by IEA, I continue to find the IEA reports very worthwhile to read and reflect upon. There is indeed a potential danger that, in case forecasts are too pessimistic, this could create unwanted actions. Nevertheless, it’s better to be safe than sorry with all negative consequences. (*): the article published in FD (Financial Daily newspaper) on May 15, 2021 outlined the views of a columnist that the advance of solar energy is systematically underestimated by the IEA.
IEA reported, amongst others, the following insights:
“Climate pledges by governments to date – even if fully achieved – are well short of what’s required to bring global energy-related carbon dioxide emissions to net zero by 2050.”
“Our pathway requires the immediate and massive deployment of all available clean and efficient energy technologies. That includes annual additions of solar PV to reaching 630 gigawatts by 2030, and those of wind power reaching 390 gigawatts. Together, that’s four times the record level set in 2020.”
“Most of the global reductions in CO2 emissions between now and 2030 in our net zero pathway come from technologies already on the market today. But in 2050, almost half the reductions come from technologies that are currently only at the demonstration or prototype phase. This calls for major innovation progress this decade.”
“A rise in CO2 emissions of almost 5% in 2021 compared to 2020.”
“Global energy demand is set to increase by 4.6% in 2021, more than offsetting the 4% contraction in 2020 and pushing demand 0.5% above 2019 levels.”
“Demand for renewables grew by 3% in 2020 and is set to increase across all key sectors – power, heating, industry and transport – in 2021. The power sector leads the way, with its demand for renewables on course to expand by more than 8% in 2021.”
“Solar PV and wind are expected to contribute two-thirds of renewables’ growth.”
Food for thought when reading the latest message from the UN Secretary-General, António Guterres, made at the opening of the recent 2-day Leaders’ Summit on Climate, who called on leaders everywhere to take urgent climate action: “Mother Nature is not waiting”, he said. “We need a green planet — but the world is on red alert.” Click here for more details.
The Summit is an important event on the road to COP26 in Glasgow in November 2021. It brought together decisionmakers and representatives of more than 40 countries covering more than 80% of global GDP, population and emissions. Focus was on the critical need for international collaboration and policy implementation to accelerate clean energy transitions. On May 18, the IEA will publish a wide-ranging roadmap for the global energy sector to reach net-zero emissions by 2050. Good to continue monitoring these important developments.
We read with interest a recent article in the Dutch newspaper FD, in which prominent figures of the political party D66 advise the next Dutch government to seriously consider a role for nuclear energy from 2030. Our advice is to do this from a European perspective.
We would therefore like to recommend the politicians and readers of this website to also read the 2010 study by the European Climate Foundation (ECF). We have written about this before in previous blogs, but we would like to make reference to the Roadmap 2050 website again; https://www.roadmap2050.eu/. The various reports (Roadmap 2050 (click here), Power Perspective 2030 (click here)) also clearly describe the role of nuclear energy. We understand the concerns and questions about how to deal with radioactive waste, but we believe that responsible solutions are (will be) available.
The Dutch House of Representatives (“Tweede Kamer”) recently declared the bill to phase out the netting scheme for solar panels definitively controversial. The law will only be discussed in the House of Representatives after the upcoming national elections on March 17, 2021.
This development creates uncertainty for individual households and companies. On the other hand, people know that solar energy must be fully used. As part of a necessary energy transition and also necessary to achieve the Dutch climate goals. We can therefore assume that it will remain interesting for households and companies to invest in solar energy systems.
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