The development of solar PV in the Netherlands: A case of survival in unfriendly contexts

Bram Verhees, Rob Raven, Frank Veraart, Adrian Smith, Florian Kern

Research output: Contribution to journalReview ArticleOtherpeer-review

53 Citations (Scopus)


This paper reviews the developments of solar photovoltaic (PV) technology in The Netherlands. Despite the recent boom in PV industries and its global deployment, The Netherlands has up to now not experienced major growth in the diffusion of PV electricity generation. But this is only part of the story. This paper focuses on the question why PV is still around in The Netherlands at all despiteits, at times, harsh policy and socio-economic contexts. It builds upon a recently developed framework from the field of transition studies that distinguishes between shielding, nurturing and empowerment of sustainable innovations. A descriptive historical review is combined with an analysis of niche space that shows how PV advocates have been able to strategically secure and shape protective measures over four decades in the context of harsh regime selection environments. The paper suggests how further analyses using this shielding-nurturing-empowerment framework can benefit from this exploratory study into PV innovation in The Netherlands.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)275-289
Number of pages15
JournalRenewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2013
Externally publishedYes


  • Empowering
  • Nurturing
  • Protective space
  • Shielding
  • Solar PV
  • Strategic niche management

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