Dutch government mulling PV ban on agricultural sites


Dutch Minister of Economic Affairs and Climate Policy Micky Adriaansens stated in a parliamentary letter that new restrictions are being considered for ground-mounted solar plants on agricultural land.

The provisions could be implemented in July 2024, with initial details expected to be announced in September of this year. It appears that the ban will cover nature grounds and agricultural land.

With this unclear statement, the dutch solar sector is unable to develop solar plants on agricultural land,” a spokesperson for Dutch PV association Holland Solar told pv magazine. “We think this will have a great impact on of the energy transition.”

The trade body said in a press release that the Dutch authorities implemented initial soft restrictions for solar parks on agricultural land in 2019. These regulations stipulated that large-scale solar projects had to adhere to the “Zonneladder” preference scheme, commonly used by local entities, but it has not yet been formalized as part of the law.

The preference scheme, known as the “Zonneladder,” prioritizes solar rooftop locations over ground-mounted projects. It establishes a hierarchy for assessing location suitability, with large solar parks only allowed if no higher-ranking alternatives are viable.

Holland Solar said the new ban could harm farmers and solar developers. It also noted the importance of local administrations having a final say on authorizations.

“Municipalities can properly assess the situation on site,” it said. “There could be exceptions to the ban, but they have not yet been determined.”

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