Greenbuddies tips – August 2020

Source: Volkswagen AG and

Holland – Electromobility Promised Land

The Netherlands undoubtedly belongs to the elite group of most developed electromobility markets in Europe. It is remarkable how electromobility swiftly ramped up in Dutch market in the last few years. Let’s have a look at some figures as they changed throughout the years:

Until December 2015, the Netherlands had the world’s fourth largest light-duty plug-in vehicle stock after the U.S., China and Japan, and also had the largest fleet light-duty plug-in vehicles in Europe. Sales in the Dutch plug-in market fell sharply during 2016 after changes in the tax rules that went into force at the beginning of 2016. Sales during the first half of 2016 were down 64% from the same period in 2015. By early October 2016, the Netherlands listed as the third largest European plug-in market, after being surpassed by both Norway and France, and in the global ranking fell from fourth to sixth place. The stock of light-duty plug-in electric vehicles registered in the Netherlands achieved the 100,000 unit milestone in November 2016.
Typical for the Dutch plug-in market until 2016 was the dominance of plug-in hybrid cars, which represented 80.8% of the country’s stock of passenger plug-in electric cars and vans registered at the end of December 2017. The shift to focus incentives on battery electric vehicles took place in the wake of the tax rule changes in 2016 after it became clear that far too many users occasionally charged their plug-in hybrids and the sheer tax benefit was the only motivation for their purchase.
As of 31 March 2020, there were 218,501 highway-legal light-duty plug-in electric vehicles registered in the Netherlands, consisting of 116,148 pure electric cars, 97,553 plug-in hybrids, and 4,800 all-electric light utility vans. When buses (866), trucks (140), motorcycles (812), quadricycles and tricycles (1,446) are accounted for, the Dutch plug-in fleet in use climbs to 221,765 units.
Also in terms of charging infrastructure The Netherlands occupies top-notch positions in global comparison as it relates to ratio of charging points to electric vehicles, outpacing such markets as for instance the US.
The Dutch government has in spring this year confirmed the planned purchase subsidies for privately used e-cars, including secondhand electric cars. Thus the Netherlands is among the first countries in Europe to introduce a subsidy for the purchase or leasing of used electric cars.
Drivers who want to purchase an electric vehicle in the Netherlands were prompted by a subsidy of 4.000 Euros for the EV’s with a list price between between 12- 45 thousand Euros and a minimum range of 120 km. The new subsidy system also included a bonus of 2.000 Euros for used electric cars. The subsidy of 4,000 euros for the purchase of new electric cars and 2,000 euros for used electric vehicles could have been applied from 1 July (also retroactively to purchases made after 4 June 2020).To prevent misuse, the subsidy is only available when buying or leasing through an approved dealer.
It comes as no surprise that the planned budget of ten million euros was allocated after only eight days after applications opened on 1 July, as the subsidy was awarded on a “first come, first served” basis.
Since the purchase prices for e-cars will decrease in the long run, it is expected that the subsidy amount for new cars will also decrease in the coming years, while the 2,000 euros for used cars should remain at that level.
When we think about the high degree of maturity of the Dutch market with electromobility, it is interesting to ask the question of why people in the Netherlands buy electric cars. According to the report published recently by CleanTechnica, the responses are pretty similar across countries. The largest portion of buyers referenced the environmental benefits, in the Netherlands the second most frequent reason was that they loved new tech, followed closely by the smooth & quiet drive and the fun & convenience of EV life.
People in Holland love their electric cars as you can tell from the sheer number of EV’s on the roads and in the streets of their cities. Affection that surely is going to last for many years to come!

Use of a recultivated landfill for a photovoltaic power plant

Photovoltaics is an often declining and rapidly developing field, its development is not only connected with the improvement of solar panel technology, but new types of structures are also constantly being developed for their installation. When developing new solar panels, the emphasis is mainly on the price, which decreases every year, and at the same time the percentage of their recyclability increases.
Emphasis is placed on the generality of their use in the field, ease of installation and price. Not only this rapid development of efficient conversion of solar energy into electrical offers variability in this field. A great variety of applications can also be found in underconstruction systems. It is not new that solar power plants are built on fields, roofs or, for example, water surfaces in the form of floating power plants. But even in this field, various solutions can be cleverly combined, and just such a combination was used by our client in the north-east of the Netherlands, who asked us to build a solar power plant with an output of about 7 MW at a recultivated landfill.
The Bovenveld project, within which the above-mentioned construction is underway, began on 15 July 2020 at the request of ProfiNRG. Such a specific project also required specific solutions, where the geomembrane isolating the landfill, which is located under a small layer of soil, should not be disturbed. For this reason were used in this project two types of construction with the foundation, which does not extend deep below the ground level. As the first structure anchoring system was used TreeSystem, which got its name for similarity of its anchoring systems to tree roots, which can fix the structure in a small depth.


This technology offer low installation depth of anchoring systems between 45 – 60 cm underground hand by hand with the acquisition of sufficient safety and does not require excavation work or foundation with concrete. This speeds up the installation as well as the removal of the structure at the end of its service life. It is used not only at power plants in landfills or quarries, but also on steep slopes, where the installation of conventional underconstruction systems would be difficult, as well as in archaeological sites, where is minimal damage of the substrate requested. The power of the plant founded by this system in the Bovenveld project is 4.7 MW.
The second type of construction used on this site is SunBeam, which is used for photovoltaic systems located on flat roofs. This use was an alternative to the specific requirements of this project, as in fact almost the only use of this system is for roof structures.
An important factor that affects the possibility of using the SunBeam system is to obtain a flat solid surface on which the structure is anchored only with weights (ballast). In this part, there was no disruption of the soil, which was in a very thin layer (30 cm) on the geomembrane insulating the landfill. The SunBeam system was chosen for its good functional properties, easy and fast installation, which reduced the time required for construction. By using this system was built 2.3 MW.
We captured the current state of the construction with a drone for you. We expect that our teams will complete this project till October and we will inform you about the final result in our news.

Author: Peter Bats and Tommhy Cuadros

Aerocompact practical training goes far beyond the counting of manhours of installation

The basic purpose of the mounting system for photovoltaic modules is to ensure safe operation of the system with minimal maintenance. The safety of mounting throughout the life of the PV generator is a crucial component.

How to achieve a safe installation?

The first step is a suitably chosen mounting system for fixing the panels in our case to a flat roof. The most common mistake in calculating of the distribution and weight of the load is to omit the slope of the flat roof, even though it has a slope of only few degrees. Furthermore, when the friction of the roof covering surface or foil is not measured by a special device. In addition to calculating the weight and distribution of the concrete load (usually concrete tiles), both of these parameters also serve to determine whether the entire blocks of panels may shift due to the different thermal expansion of the materials used and the slippery roof surface. Oversized ballast (load) can lead to unnecessary loading of the roof structure and higher costs for material purchase, handling, and installation. Conversely, insufficient, and poorly distributed loads can cause a shift of block of panels or blow out due to strong wind or storm. Prior to laying the panels, make sure that the load distribution corresponds to the installation drawings of the mounting system supplier. The insurance company will verify this figure among the first facts in the event of an insured event. The second important thing is the tightening of all bolts connections and especially the panel clamps to the tightening torque resulting from the assembly instructions of the construction manufacturer and the panel manufacturer. That your subcontractor does not provide this information? Consider whether it is trustworthy, and its system is secure for the application and area.
We practically mastered all these and many other important steps during a three-hour field training. The training was led by an experienced engineer Nico Baggen from Aerocompact on June 12 in the Dutch city of Arnhem. We chose the location deliberately, because we are currently building over 7 MW of rooftop PV installations in the vicinity. We also wanted to take advantage of the fact that the experienced masters of our assembly teams work nearby, and we were able to meet all at once and exchange experiences.

Price is not the only criterion

Do you know the value of losing a good name and losing a client due to savings in the wrong place?
Do you know if the insurance company will not refuse to insure the rooftop PV plant in time, because it does not correspond, for example, to Scope 12 in the Netherlands, and what additional costs will be involved?
When choosing a suitable assembly system, we recommend comparing not only the price of “hardware” per kWp, the assembling cost, but also whether the system was tested in a wind tunnel, whether it has the necessary certificates and tests for the area, whether all components used meet required service life, what material the structure is made of and how resistant it is to corrosion, e.g. near the sea, if the solution design took into account all parameters such as friction of the roof, roof pitch, building height (some systems work safely only up to 25 m building height) etc.