This study is a preliminary investigation of the potential for solar thermal in the Dutch province Zuid-Holland. It explores the available options for harvesting the sun’s energy there, in support of the provincial executive’s efforts to facilitate local and regional authorities and other stakeholders in the energy transition.
Solar thermal is an energy source that can be used for space heating and tap water. Rooftop solar thermal systems can potentially cover some percentage of heat demand, while out-of-town ‘solar farms’ combined with storage are a possible source for local heat grids. The latter hold out greatest potential in rural parts of Zuid-Holland where there is sufficient space and there are few alternative heat sources. The main barriers for solar thermal are lack of knowledge and experience in the Netherlands, land availability, unfavourable financial conditions and organisational complexity. To incentivise solar thermal and facilitate its uptake, the provincial executive can provide support in all these areas.