Despite long searches, the Eindhoven city council has not succeeded in finding a new location for a large solar park. That is what the alderman Staf Depla (Economic Affairs) has written to the municipal council in a letter on behalf of the College of Mayor and Aldermen. Eindhoven’s ‘Climate Plan 2016 – 2020’ states that the city will install around 250,000 solar panels in that period. In 2015, this figure was about 50,000, almost all of which was on roofs of residential and other buildings. The momentary numbers are not known right now; according to the College, figures will soon be available.
Last year it was already agreed to build ‘solar park Welschap‘ at the Eindhoven airbase, with 8000 panels, accounting for about 3 million kWh per year. However, this is far from enough to meet the commitments made in the Climate Plan. No other locations within the municipality have yet been designated with a real possibility for the development of a solar park. The biggest obstacle seems to be the value of the ground on which such a park will be built. The College: “In general, the possibilities to use a site of some size for solar panels for at least 15 years are very limited because they exclude other, financially more attractive, options.” For this reason, the location ‘Park Forum Oost’ has also been dropped: the idea is now to build houses on that location.
The city council has not yet given up its effort. “Other possible locations are being searched for, but as yet, no suitable location has been traced on municipal land, often in connection with future development plans. Nevertheless, given the great ambitions in this area, we will continue to actively search for locations for a solar park in Eindhoven or in the immediate vicinity.”
Outside the city boundaries, too, suitable locations are being sought for the production of sustainable energy. The “Integrated Strategy Space” of the Eindhoven Metropolitan Region describes the plans for the entire region. Incentives for location choices for sustainable energy production can be found on an “opportunity map“. The Municipality: “For example, we are using this to work together with Rijkswaterstaat to explore the possibilities of expanding the A58 motorway to include the production of sustainable energy in an ‘energy corridor’, which could also include solar parks. We are currently exploring the possibilities of signing an agreement of intent with Rijkswaterstaat in spring 2018.”