The government has concluded agreements on this matter with provinces, municipalities and water boards. De Jong and Jetten believe that land in the Netherlands should be handled with care, “because it is rare.” There are many schemes that occupy space, such as large-scale housing construction. According to the ministers, nature should not be harmed and there should also be sufficient agricultural land for food supply.
The intention is that solar energy generation should in principle always be undertaken in combination with other land uses. In addition to the roofs of houses in cities and villages, roofs and facades of businesses, greenhouses, roofs over parking spaces and strips along roads should also be taken into account.
The ban on solar collectors in agricultural and natural areas is stipulated in all regional regulations. Some exceptions are possible. For example, it is still permissible to install solar panels on the roof of a stable, if the electricity grid can handle them. An exception can also be made if the destination changes. But in principle it is not permissible.
The ban applies to new initiatives. Plans already in development that deviate from the new agreements can continue as usual.
The government has agreed with other authorities on the sequence of installation of solar panels. Therefore, it is preferable to place them on the roofs or facades of buildings. Unexploited sites in built-up areas come in second place, unexploited sites in rural areas come in third place, and agricultural and natural areas come in fourth place.
It has now been agreed that provinces will not grant permits for the latter category in principle.
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