The subject of previous posts was a statement in the second energy fact check of the “factchecker energie” from the Energy Agreement of the SER (Social Economic Council of the Netherlands). The question that get answered in this second fact check is whether solar energy has a future in the Netherlands. This post will focus on how this is answered.
Reading the fact check, it appeared overly optimistic. As with other communication on renewable energy, the author only highlights the positives and ignores the negatives.
This is how the fact check continued (translated from Dutch, my emphasis):
The central planning bureau (CPB) has recently published a report which concludes that solar energy will have a marginal role in the future European electricity supply and wind energy will play an important role. In the most optimistic scenario, solar power fills in up to 8% of the electricity demand. According to the analysis of the CPB, this is mainly because it is so difficult (expensive) to bridge the difference in summer and winter revenues.
Prof. Dr. Wim Sinke of ECN made several remarks on this CPB study. He points out that the CPB is too pessimistic about the cost of solar electricity and is still insufficiently sensitive to the rapid developments in the field of power-to-heat, power-to-gas and power-to-products. The CPB looks only to the electricity system, but not enough to what’s called system integration. By the way, the CPB points in his study also to its limitations, such as the fact that because of the followed methodology, electricity storage cannot properly be taken into account, and it indicates that follow-up study is needed.
If I understand that correctly, the CPB doesn’t believe that solar energy will have much of a future in the Netherlands, but the author of this fact check thinks otherwise. This because:
- the CPB is too pessimistic about the cost of solar power
- there are rapid developments in the field of solar energy
- electricity storage is not properly taking into account in the CPB report.
While that might all be true, it is only half of the story.