- National Growth Fund round 3 winners include SolarNL that has secured the largest pie of the €4 billion award money
- It has been awarded €412 million, with some of it conditional, to invest in the local production of circular solar panels
- The government wants the consortium to ensure solar panels are made from less critical raw materials
The Government of the Netherlands has carved out the largest chunk of its €4 billion National Growth Fund under round 3, offering €412 million to the development of circular solar panels within the country in an attempt to bring down its reliance on foreign produced PV modules.
For the latest round, the government has announced €4 billion investment in 18 projects that it sees as having the potential to ensure long-term economic growth and future prosperity, with solar being one of them.
Of the €412 million awarded to SolarNL consortium, €277 million is conditional, the government stated recently. The administration wants the solar industry to ensure solar panels are made from less critical raw materials.
A national research, innovation and industrial investment program to ‘bring back and stimulate’ solar PV manufacturing in the Netherlands and Europe, SolarNL is a consortium of 9 local solar companies Solarge, MCPV, HyET Solar, Compoform, Exasun, Energyra, Lightyear Layer, IM Efficiency, Taylor, NWO Institute AMOLF, 6 universities (Amsterdam, Delft, Eindhoven, Groningen, Twente, Utrecht), TNO and 4 universities of applied sciences (Amsterdam, Hanze University of Applied Sciences, Saxion, Zuyd).
The proposal for the latest growth fund round was submitted by the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Climate Policy (EZK) that backs the consortium. SolarNL aims to develop and industrialize 3 innovative solar PV technologies, namely:
- High efficiency silicon heterojunction (HJT) cells
- Flexible perovskite foils, and
- Customized solar PV products for integration in buildings and automotive applications.
As per SolarNL, the total budget to realize these plans amounts to €898 million, of which €587 million is covered by private financing. In a press statement issued, SolarNL said it has been awarded €312 million in the growth fund allocation out of which €135 million is available to it immediately, and €177 million conditionally along with a €100 million loan.
“The SolarNL program leads to an expected added value for the Dutch economy of €500-€700 million/year in 2031 and cumulative €20-€25 billion in 2050,” according to the government.
Netherlands expects solar PV generation capacity to grow from 18 GW in 2022 to between 100 GW to 250 GW in 2050 when it targets to become climate neutral. To accommodate this expected capacity, the country is creating space as was announced by the Minister of Climate and Energy Rob Jetten recently. Under the country’s National Energy System Plan (NPE), it has confirmed that 21 sites will be designated for renewable energy plants, including those that previously hosted coal-fired plants.
Space is also being explored to put up electrolyzers for green hydrogen production along with mapping out areas for high-voltage lines and high-voltage substations.
The government is also exploring offshore solar with 3 GW capacity by 2030 in a bid to achieve its climate goals (see Dutch Government Betting On Offshore Floating Solar).
Only recently, in late June, in another EU member state Germany, the Federal Ministry of Economics and Climate Protection (BMWK) launched an expression of interest (EOI) to support capex for a total of around 10 GW annual solar PV manufacturing capacity in the country along the value chain, based on the latest technological and sustainable developments. (see Germany Launches Big Solar PV Industry Tender)