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    More solar panels than ever, yet 12 percent less generation of green power this winter: how can that be?

    March 28, 2023 - Change, Inc


      Copyright ChangeInc

      In the Netherlands, 12 percent less wind and solar energy was generated last winter than last year's winter. Remarkable, because there are more solar panels in our country than ever.

      During last winter, 12 percent less wind and solar energy was generated in our country than in the winter of 2021/2022. This is according to research conducted by energy company Zonneplan on the generation of green power in the period from December 21, 2022 and through March 21, 2023.

      More solar panels, less solar power

      The result is striking because 2022 . Nevertheless, 257 megawatt hours less solar power was generated last winter than a year earlier. Wind turbines also produced significantly less power than in the winter of 2022. The output was 760 megawatt hours lower.

      Sunny and stormy

      The reason for last winter's drop in generation, according to Solar Plan, is mainly explained by the fact that the winter before was exceptionally stormy and sunny. In terms of sunshine, the winter of 2021/2022, with over 346 sunshine hours, was truly an outlier. The number of sunshine hours last winter was more than 96 hours lower. The wind also kept quiet this winter compared to last year. The first months of 2022 were marked by storms Corrie, Dudley and Eunice. These greatly affected the amount of wind energy generated.

      Slight decrease in share of green energy

      The share of wind and solar in the total electricity mix in the winter of 2022/2023 was nevertheless only 2.4 percentage points lower than last year (28.4 percent in 2023 versus 30.8 percent in 2022). That's because the Dutch collectively started using less electricity. Thus, the reduction in the supply of green power did not have to be completely filled by gray power.


      Despite the decrease in generation, there were still surpluses. For 45 hours during this winter, the sun and wind together produced more power than was demanded at the time. According to Frank Breukelman of Zonneplan, the Netherlands is exporting more and more power on sunny and windy days. So this winter's power surpluses could also be exported to our neighboring countries.


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