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Optimal deployment of the infrastructure for generating solar energy

A large-scale rollout of solar farms requires much open space. As open space in the Netherlands is limited, and with a view to sparing agricultural land as much as possible, we are examining options to integrate PV systems in infrastructural elements such as roads, roadside,dikes, and noise barriers.

The transition towards 100% renewable energy is increasingly focused on the integration of solar and wind energy in the limited space available in the Netherlands. That is why it is becoming more and more important to deploy the availabe space as efficiently as possible, for example by integrating solar panels in our spatial infrastructure (roads, roadside, noise barriers, dikes, et cetera). This infrastructure takes up about 2000 km2 of land area in the Netherlands. ECN part of TNO predicts that solar panels will be integrated in 10% of this area over the next 30 years, amounting to about 33 GWP of installed capacity.

To support these developments, Rijkswaterstaat has decided to bundle all practical, operational and financial information related to the use of PV systems in the infrastructure in the National Consortium Solar and Infra.

Goals of the consortium

Proeftuin voor PV geluidschermen in Den Bosch

The National Consortium Solar and Infra is a collaboration between authorities, businesses and knowledge organisations. It has the following objectives:

  • A key activity of the consortium is initiating and carrying out innovation projects for the integration of solar power in the infrastructure.
  • Secondly, the consortium aims to investigate business models and business cases for integration of PV in the infrastructure.
  • The third objective is to offer more effective and tailored information to water boards and provincial and local authorities about the technical, economic and legal options for integrating solar energy in the public infrastructure.
  • The involved authorities would like to jointly develop a clear line on public tendering of solar energy in the infrastructure, with authorities purchasing solar systems themselves and/or purchasing the power (launching customership).
  • The involved authorities would also like to jointly develop a clear line regarding the creation of space for solar power (PV) systems in the public infrastructure, including the provision of permits (eligibility), when third parties would like to start initatives in the area of these public parties.

The National Consortium Solar in Infra organises meetings twice a year for networking, exchanging knowledge and developing new initiatives. Moreover, the consortium has an information site where all members have access to the  knowledge available about PV applications in infrastructure. Authorities will also be able to access the site to find answers to their questions and to share their own experiences with the other authorities that are member of the consortium.

For more information and membership please contact Hans de Neve

de Neve

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