PV gets 285 times more subsidies as solar thermal
 PV gets 285 times more subsidies as solar thermal

PV gets 285 times more subsidies as solar thermal

The Netherlands Enterprise Agency, also known as RVO, which invited applications for its renewable feed-in tariff scheme SDE+ in spring, has approved funding for 22 solar thermal systems totalling 8.4 MWth. In all, EUR 3.6 billion has been awarded to 3,899 applicants following the invitation. Photovoltaic systems have claimed around 57 % of the funding pot, biomass CHP 27 % and geothermal 6 % (see pie chart). Considering that solar thermal has received a meagre 0.2 %, the clear focus of the support scheme seems to be on green electricity. 
Chart: RVO
Solar thermal systems eligible for SDE+ must measure a minimum of 200 m2 (140 kWth) but can be deployed for a wide variety of applications, from commercial swimming pools to flower farms to industrial facilities and residential buildings. Solar heating installations approved this spring will be supported with 6.5 EUR cents/kWh. However, the incentive amount is limited to 700 operating hours at full capacity each year over 15 years. As an example, a 140 kWth system will lead to an annual incentive of EUR 6,370 and a total of EUR 95,550 over 15 years. Please see the database of incentive programmes for a more detailed explanation of SDH+.
The biggest installation approved in spring was a 1.84 MWth, or 2,628 m2, solar field to heat the greenhouses of Salvia Rikken, a company which grows ivy in Bemmel, near Arnhem. Computer simulations predict an annual collector yield of 490 kWh/m2, which would be 1,288 MWh a year. RVO’s online database, which lists all SDH+ installations, shows that a maximum of EUR 1.16 million will be paid for this solar thermal system over 15 years.
The SDE+ scheme offers two application rounds a year and has a budget of EUR 6 billion for each. Applications can be submitted in autumn from 8 a.m. Tuesday, 2 October, to 5 p.m. Thursday, 8 November.
RVO provides a PDF summary of approved projects, as well as an Excel table of approved installations, from each application round online
Application round No. of approved applications Budget total No. of approved solar thermal applications Solar thermal capacity from approved applications Solar thermal budget share
Spring 2017 4,530 EUR 5.8 billion 21 11.5 MW 0.1 %
Autumn 2017 4,215 EUR 6 billion 5 1 MW 0.01 %
Spring 2018 3,899 EUR 3.6 billion 22 8.4 MW 0.2 %
Key figures from most recent application rounds: The information shown in this table has been retrieved from RVO’s online database of approved projects.
Source: RVO
Organisations mentioned in this article:

Baerbel Epp

Bärbel Epp is Founder and Director of the German communication and market research agency solrico and editor-in-chief of solarthermalworld.org