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Step by step, we will phase out the energy-saving scheme. The new cabinet must decide on this. But what are the players in the field hoping for? We spoke to the grid operator, but also to a panel supplier.

Thanks in part to high electricity prices, but also as a result of the fall in the price of panels, the end of the net-metering scheme does not seem unthinkable. After all, a financial incentive is no longer necessarily needed for a product that pays for itself quickly.

Rise in batteries

In addition, the advance of grid congestion may also be a good argument for wanting to stagnate the increase in installed capacity as well. After all, the grid is becoming increasingly congested as a result of the benefits of installing panels.

"Everyone currently uses the grid as a battery," states Bert van Woudenberg, co-owner of ProfiNRG. "Storage methods are fortunately becoming cheaper and cheaper. By phasing out gradually, the popularity towards the battery is also growing incrementally, making it easier to keep up with demand. If you abolish the net-metering scheme all at once, as was the case in Belgium, it will lead to a huge increase in battery sales. However, battery availability will then become a challenge."

Brake on innovation

A good plan is therefore needed, according to Van Woudenberg. "With the net-metering scheme, you don't encourage people to think for themselves. It's like a brake on innovation. It has certainly been a good method of making solar panels attractive, but now it is overshooting the mark."

Van Woudenberg continued: "Perhaps an interim solution is possible in which municipalities provide interest-free loans to private individuals for up to 4 kilowatt-peak solar power system in which, for a number of years, balancing is still allowed up to, say, 3,000 kilowatt-hours per year, by these people in which they pay the monthly amount they currently pay to the power company to the municipality as repayment."

But not only home batteries will become popular, according to Van Woudenberg. "The electric car, for example, will also become more interesting. Especially if you can get power in and out of it in the future."

Coalition agreement

Netbeheer Nederland, in cooperation with Energy Storage NL, published a paper on the phasing-out of the net-metering scheme late last year. In it, they also called on the government to investigate ways to stimulate home storage among consumers. They would like to see the results reflected in a new coalition agreement.

According to Netbeheer Nederland, the phase-out of the net-metering scheme is insufficient to make storage profitable. With the proposed phase-out path, home batteries will not be financially attractive until 2028. For this reason, they hope for an "additional financial instrument". According to their calculation, a 30 per cent subsidy would make home batteries profitable for consumers as early as 2023. But, they admit, further research is needed.

Parliamentary debate

"Minister Jetten sent a parliamentary letter on grid capacity to the Lower House in early February, providing an update on the net-metering scheme. It is true that there is nothing about it in the coalition agreement. But because the bill has already been tabled in the Lower House, the planned abolition is still part of standing policy," says Hans-Peter Oskam, director of policy & energy transition at Netbeheer Nederland.

In the parliamentary debate, the minister indicated that the consideration for subsidising or not subsidising home storage would be part of the decision-making process on the possible amendment of the bill to abolish the net-metering scheme. "So I want to take a broad look at how we can give storage a place and whether it is wise to allocate a subsidy to it to make it cheaper for consumers at the moment and thus further stimulate the market," Jetten said.

Source: Solar365.co.uk