A large-scale rollout of solar parks requires a great deal of open space. Since the open space in the Netherlands is limited and to spare the use of agricultural land as much as possible, we are looking into the possibilities of integrating PV systems with infrastructure elements such as roads, facades, dikes and noise barriers.

The transition to 100% renewable energy is increasingly about integrating solar and wind energy within the limited space available in a country like the Netherlands. This makes it all the more important that we use the available space as efficiently as possible, for example by combining the space taken up by our spatial infrastructure, such as roads, facades, noise barriers, railways and dikes with solar panels as much as possible. Infrastructure in the Netherlands takes up about 2000 km2 of the surface area. The Roadmap PV Systems and Applications predicts that we will combine 10% of this with solar panels over the next 30 years. This represents approximately 33 GWp of installed capacity. Examples of projects in which TNO integrated solar panels into the spatial infrastructure are SolaRoad, SolarHighways and pv on dikes.

pilot solar panels on noise barriers near Den Bosch

The National Consortium Zon op Infra (Solar on infra) is an alliance of national, regional and local authorities, companies, knowledge institutes and interest groups, initiated by TNO, Rijkswaterstaat and TKI Urban Energy.

The National Consortium promotes the innovation and implementation of (integrated) solar energy systems in the infrastructure for railways, motorways, waterways and cycle paths in the Netherlands. The National Consortium Zon op Infra strives to initiate and implement projects so that:

  • The Netherlands becomes a global leader in the field of innovation, knowledge development and dissemination, and implementation of (integrated) solar energy systems in infrastructure.
  • Innovation, knowledge development and dissemination, and the implementation of (integrated) solar energy systems in the infrastructure in the Netherlands will be accelerated.

The scope of the National Consortium focuses, among other things, on the following:

  • Contributing to the knowledge agenda for initiating and implementing research and demonstration projects
  • Creating a network of (national, regional and local) authorities, companies, knowledge institutions and interest groups to discuss innovations and cooperation.
  • Social acceptance of the integration of solar energy into infrastructure
  • Initiating innovation projects for integrating solar power into infrastructure
  • Researching the business models and business cases for PV integrated in the infrastructure
  • Pooling knowledge on this theme and contributing to knowledge sharing on the technical, economic and legal possibilities of integrating solar energy into the public infrastructure 

The National Consortium Zon op Infra meets at least twice a year to network, exchange knowledge and develop new initiatives. It is an open and publicly accessible consortium.

More info about solar on infra?

Contact Corry de Keizer

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