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Step by step we are going to phase out the balancing system. The new administration must decide on this. But what are the players from the field hoping for? We spoke to the grid operator, as well as a panel supplier.

Thanks in part to high electricity prices, but also as a result of the drop in the price of panels, the end of the balancing system 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 crowded, due to the benefits of installing panels.

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

Brake on innovation

Therefore, according to Van Woudenberg, there needs to be a good plan. “With the balancing scheme, you don’t encourage people to think for themselves. It’s like a brake on innovation. It has certainly been a good method to make solar panels attractive, but now it misses the mark.”

Van Woudenberg continues: “Perhaps an intermediate solution is possible in which municipalities provide interest-free loans to 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 now pay to the power company to the municipality as repayment.”

But not only home batteries will be in demand, according to Van Woudenberg. “For example, the electric car is also becoming 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 at the end of last year on the phasing out of the balancing scheme. In it, they also called on the Cabinet to investigate ways to encourage home storage among consumers. They would like to see the results reflected in a new coalition agreement.

The phasing out of the net-metering scheme is insufficient to make storage profitable, according to Netbeheer Nederland. Under the proposed phase-out path, home batteries are not financially attractive until 2028. For this reason, they hope for an “additional financial toolkit. According to their calculation, a 30 percent subsidy would ensure that the home battery would be profitable for consumers as early as 2023. But, they admit, further research is needed.

Chamber 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 introduced 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 of whether or not to subsidize home storage would be part of the decision-making process on the possible amendment of the bill to abolish the balancing system. “So I want to look broadly at how we can give storage a place and whether it makes sense to put a subsidy on that to make it cheaper for consumers at this time and thereby further stimulate the market,” Jetten said.

Source: Solar365.co.uk

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