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Record number of 140,000 home batteries installed in Europe in 2020

Record number of 140,000 home batteries installed in Europe in 2020

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/).

We also like to refer to another recent blog on Storage; re. https://www.aarten-es.com/blog-post/the-power-of-residential-battery-energy-storage-systems/.

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.

The Sustainable Home: providing insights into various possibilities

The Sustainable Home: providing insights into various possibilities

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.

 

Various examples

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!

Article from the Netherlands Knowledge Platform for Public Charging Infrastructure (NKL)

Article from the Netherlands Knowledge Platform for Public Charging Infrastructure (NKL)

Click here to read the article (presented in the Dutch language).

Early 2014 an enthusiastic group of people, representing private, public and semi-public sectors, came together, which resulted in the establishment of the ‘Netherlands Knowledge Platform for Public Charging Infrastructure for Electric Vehicles’ (NKL).

Since 2014, NKL provided relevant contributions to the public charging infrastructure for electric vehicles in the Netherlands and internationally. And I’m proud that I’ve been a member of this team.

With great pleasure I was a member of the Board of the foundation NKL for 6 years. This assignment came to an end after concluding my second and final term in November 2020. I’ll remain a strong supporter and ambassador of the foundation NKL, and wish the new Board and all NKL colleagues every success.

For more information, please refer to: https://www.nklnederland.com/

Thijs Aarten

Are electric cars just as safe as fuel-powered cars? And what are the safety aspects in closed spaces?

Are electric cars just as safe as fuel-powered cars? And what are the safety aspects in closed spaces?

Consultancy firm CE Delft concludes that electric cars are just as safe as cars which run on fuel.

Commissioned by the Netherlands Enterprise Agency (“RVO”) and on behalf of the “Nationale Agenda Laadinfrastructuur (NAL)” (freely translated: National Agenda for Charging Infrastructure), CE Delft conducted a study. Read more ……

The safety of cars in closed spaces (parking garages) has also been examined. Parking garages in the Netherlands must comply with the 2012 Building Decree (Rijksoverheid, 2011). However, the safety conclusions are not yet clear when referring to the mentioned report. More information is expected in 2021. We keep a close eye on further developments.

G40-city network: 40 medium-sized municipalities in the Netherlands argue: “Overstimulation” is not an argument for phasing out the solarpanel netting-scheme (‘salderingsregeling’)

G40-city network: 40 medium-sized municipalities in the Netherlands argue: “Overstimulation” is not an argument for phasing out the solarpanel netting-scheme (‘salderingsregeling’)

Remarkable conclusions from a second opinion investigation carried out by the “Stichting Economisch Onderzoek (SEO)” (Economic Research Foundation) at the request of the G-40 city network.

According to the G40-citynetwork (translated from the original message in the Dutch language): “On 8 October, the Minister of Economic Affairs and Climate has submitted the bill on Phasing Out Netting Regulations for small consumers. With this law, one of the few measures that stimulates citizens to invest in local sustainable energy is pushed aside. The reason for the phasing out is the expectation of “overstimulation”. However, research commissioned by the G40-network shows that overstimulation by maintaining the scheme has not been demonstrated. The Minister bases his bill on various studies, including the evaluation studies conducted by PWC. Partly on the basis of this, the conclusion is drawn that there is “overstimulation” if the existing netting scheme continues to exist. The G40-network has asked SEO to conduct a second opinion on the PWC studies. Conclusion: overstimulation as a motivator has not been explained, demonstrated or substantiated. ”. Read more …..

A remarkable but also worrying conclusion. After all: everything must be done to stimulate residents and owners of buildings to proactively participate in sustainability. Installing solar panels is one of those solutions. The last thing we want are unnecessary hurdles.

To view the report, please click here.

Remark: The G40-citynetwork is the network of 40 medium to large cities in the Netherlands, who find each other in the various urban issues, facing the members of the network.

Warmtepompplein.nl (information portal on heat pumps)

Warmtepompplein.nl (information portal on heat pumps)

The consultancy firm BDH has entered into a partnership with EnShared in 2020. EnShared has taken over the Information portal Heat Pumps (Warmtepompplein.nl) from BDH.

This online portal is the place for consumers to obtain information about heat pumps in homes. Thanks to this cooperation, both organisations can contribute even better to make existing and new homes more sustainable.

In addition to the independent solar energy platform Zonatlas, EnShared is happy to help more home owners, via Warmtepompplein.nl, with their complex sustainability issues.

Links:

If you have any questions, please contact EnShared directly via email (roel.aarten@enshared.nl) or telephone number +31-88-6441717.

External views through smart benchmarking, then local action and also international cooperation

External views through smart benchmarking, then local action and also international cooperation

We must understand developments globally to become stronger locally.

Two particular references I would like to mention in this context. The conclusions, which one can draw from these statistics and overviews, are straightforward and I leave this up to the individual reader.

 

IEA: Energy Technology RD&D Budgets 2020

I can really recommend the reader to look at IEA’s Energy Technology RD&D Budgets 2020.

These overviews include data on budgets in specific IEA member countries and the database shows RD&D budgets and various indicators. One ought to be cautious when interpreting the absolute figures. Nevertheless, it shows the money being spent on national level and in which areas.

With compliments to the IEA who states on their website: “The complete IEA Energy Technology RD&D Budget Database can be accessed for free through IEA Data Services by logging in as GUEST. Please see the documentation, manual, or questionnaire for additional information.”.

For more information on this wealth of information provided by IEA, please click here.

 

Share of renewable energy in EU member states (source: Eurostat Statistics)

The “Eurostat Statistics Explained” provide useful and clear insights.

For instance, the Renewable energy statistics give the following results:

  • Share of renewable energy nearly doubled between 2004 and 2018.
  • In 2018, renewable energy represented 18.9% of energy consumed in the EU, compared with 9.6% in 2004 – the 2020 target is 20%.
  • The share of energy from renewable sources used in transport activities in the EU reached 8.3% in 2018.

If one views how the Netherlands is doing in all of this, the following results:

  • Netherlands takes last (27th) place in the graph presented by Eurostat on “Share of energy from renewable sources in the EU Member States (2018, in % of gross final energy consumption)” – click here.
  • A more positive picture for the Netherlands (4th place measured from the top) is viewed when studying the graph “Share of energy from renewable sources in transport (2018, in % of gross final energy consumption)” – click here.

As a Dutchman, but very much being the European and mostly the global citizen for ecological issues, I obviously want my country to do much better in what I’ve extracted from the Eurostat data. Hence, some of the key questions should be; why are the other countries doing ‘better’, and what’s hindering us from performing as requested? What can we learn from the top performers on our national, regional and local levels? These questions stimulate the international cooperation in large implementation projects. Where organisations from many countries with good diversity are participating. And once finished, we share the lessons learnt and best practices.

For more information on the Eurostat statistics, please click here.

Foundation Future Energy Systems

Foundation Future Energy Systems

The Foundation Future Energy Systems (hereinafter: FES) was established on August 14, 2020. FES aims to join forces within different sectors in the field of energy, area development and social innovation in order to contribute to a more inclusive, just and sustainable society. What motivates the foundation is collaboration and co-creation, learning from experiences, and allowing each other’s complementarity to work to the benefit of all. Decisiveness, with a strong support organisation. The core focus is supporting energy cooperatives and neighbourhoods and helping to set up energy commons. The aim of the Foundation is not to make a profit, and the ANBI status will be applied for. For more information, see: https://fes.institute/en/

The Energy Commons Institute (ECI) was established in October 2019. Due to advancing insights regarding the objectives and in view of the experiences of the past year, it was decided to rename the foundation and to discontinue the ECI foundation. This is in line with the ideas and activities of the social and sustainable innovations advocated by the initiators. This new foundation FES – like ECI – has an independent vision of technological developments that promote the energy transition. With today’s science and developments, a sharpened mission and new approach are in line with this. An example of the activities of the new foundation FES is the support of energy markets for the pooling of flexibility in which benefits flow back to households as much as possible. Another example is supporting the development of new technologies and software, based on Open Source principles, which are necessary to enable an affordable energy transition for households and companies. With this review, the new foundation fits in seamlessly with the recently presented vision of Europe: “Recovery and preparation for the next generation”; https://ec.europa.eu/commission/presscorner/detail/en/ip_20_940