Renewables

Dutch prosumers must pay fees to feed surplus electricity to grid

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Photo: Pexels/Jan Van Bizar

Published

March 14, 2024

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Published:

March 14, 2024

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Dutch power company Eneco will start charging fees to solar panel owners who feed surplus electricity to the grid, following in the footsteps of other utilities in the country, which have already introduced such charges as they struggle to handle the increasing supply.

With increasing numbers of prosumers feeding surplus electricity to the grid during sunny periods, it has become difficult for suppliers to compensate everyone under the existing scheme.

Similar problems have emerged in Greece’s booming renewables market, where some 2 GW of new capacity is being added every year while electricity demand remains stable. The growing output cannot be absorbed as the country lacks battery and pumped storage hydropower capacities to store the surplus energy.

Hydrogen electrolyzers could absorb surplus power during peak production

Green hydrogen could provide a solution to this problem, according to Jozsef Szuper, managing director of Hungarian company Enasco Capital. Electricity surpluses could be used to power hydrogen electrolyzers, or else part of the solar capacity would have to be taken offline during peak production, he said at a hydrogen conference in Belgrade.

Eneco will charge the fees until the Dutch prosumer compensation scheme is scrapped

In the Netherlands, electricity surpluses fed into the grid are deducted from prosumers’ bills, and Eneco says its fees will remain in place for as long as the current mechanism continues. According to reports, the government had planned to scrap the scheme and replace it with payments, but the senate recently voted against it.

Most Dutch energy firms have now introduced some sort of fee for solar panel owners, with Essent and Vattenfall also considering the move.

In 2023, the Netherlands produced more solar power than any other major European country, with the total output reaching 20.63 TWh. Photovoltaic capacity grew 450% in the last five years, reaching 19 GW, according to reports.

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