Practical legal aspects of solar PV projects in the Netherlands

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Although solar photovoltaic (PV) power plants currently represent a small part of global power generation, solar PV is becoming an increasingly important energy generation technology. In the Netherlands – admittedly not the first country that comes to mind when thinking of solar PV – several solar PV parks have been developed over the past years and the capacity of solar PV parks is rapidly increasing. The largest park that became operational in 2016, SunPort Delfzijl, has an installed capacity of 30 MWp. At this moment though, projects with a capacity of 50 MWp and even 100 MWp are under development.

In the 2017 spring renewable subsidy round, a large majority of the subsidy applications was for solar PV projects. Factors accounting for this rise of solar PV projects include the relatively short development phase of solar PV plants, and the fact that these plants will generally encounter less opposition from residents than, for example, wind parks. Furthermore, due to the increased efficiency of solar technology and the applicable subsidy schemes, countries such as the Netherlands have become an attractive location for solar PV projects.

This publication aims to provide a practical overview of legal aspects and risks associated with the development of a solar PV project, that play an important role in the successful development, acquisition and financing of ground mounted solar PV projects in the Netherlands. We do not provide a complete overview of all relevant factors that will need to be addressed when developing, acquiring or financing a solar PV project, but focus on issues specific to the Netherlands.