No land, no problem: Netherlands innovates to lead EU solar drive

(Context, 2 Mar 2023) The Netherlands, Europe's solar panel leader, is finding innovative places to site solar projects on limited land.

In the Dutch countryside about 130 km (80 miles) east of Amsterdam, an unusual-looking hill towers and glistens above farmhouses, leafless trees, and muddy grassland.

The hill - 25 metres (80 ft) tall - is built from 15 years' worth of household and business waste. What's remarkable is what's covering it: 23,000 solar panels.

Dutch solar developer TPSolar opened the array, which can produce up to 8.9 megawatts of power, in Armhoede, in the east of the Netherlands, in mid-2020. The former landfill now generates enough electricity for about 2,500 households.

The project reflects a wider drive in the Netherlands - which now has more than 48 million solar panels installed - to find innovative places to put new renewable energy capacity.

With land for renewable energy siting short nearly everywhere around the world, the Dutch experience - including putting solar on car parks, commercial lakes, sheep grazing fields, strawberry farms, disused churches, train stations and airfields - could inspire better siting of renewables globally.

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Context, 2 Mar 2023: No land, no problem: Netherlands innovates to lead EU solar drive