/26th February 2021, RENEWABLE MARKET WATCHTM/ Belgium recorded its best year for new installations as cumulative installed solar photovoltaic capacity exceed 10 GW at the end of 2020. A study conducted by Ecofys, suggests that Belgium could set a renewable energy target between 22,5% and 27,2%. The association recommends an objective at 25% renewables minimum. Solar photovoltaic (PV) power in Belgium had a strong performance in 2020 despite the negative health, social and economic effects of the COVID-19 (Coronavirus) pandemic, revealed the recent update of Europe Solar Photovoltaic (PV) Power Market Outlook: 2021 ÷ 2030. Each of Belgium’s three regions has its own regulatory framework for solar and renewable energy. The country has the potential to reach 18 GW of solar capacity by 2040, according to the grid operator Elia. Solar PV developments have very good prospects in Belgium as solar technology costs are going down. Solar PV power capacity growth in Belgium under net metering and self-consumption schemes shall be very good until 2020 and shall exhibit further increase by 2030 because of the well-developed government support schemes and large existing number of residential solar installations.
Support for Prosumers, Self-Consumption and Net Metering
Brussels capital mentions that 200 projects of rooftop PV on public authorities’ buildings, for a total installed capacity of 12,5 MWp, have been installed in 2020. Brussels Capital has launched the SolarClick programme, aiming at developing rooftop solar projects on public authorities buildings, and has an objective to equip with solar PV an energy sharing schemes 25% of its non-residential building stock (as part of the Expansion économique programme) by 2020, 50% by 2025, 100% by 2030. It also proposes to use renewable energy sourcing for all public buildings at the end of the current mandate. Both Flanders and Wallonia have a clear objective to develop prosumer installations.
Chart 1: Solar Resource Map of Belgium; Sources: World Bank Group, ESMAP, SolarGis
Flanders has a "Roadmap for Solar" which includes (i) mapping of the appropriate rooftop surface for PV installations, (ii) a forecast of solar PV forecasts in TV weather forecasts, (iii) reduced period for the extension of PV installations, (iv) minimum share of on-site renewable energy in buildings at 10 to 15kWh/sq.m in new residential buildings and 20 kWh/sq.m in non-residential buildings, (v) involvement of various sectors on the integration of PV installation, (vi) publication of a guide on solar, (vii) creation of energy loans (total €55 million per year) and / including €5 million yearly loans for rooftop PV on school buildings, (viii) development of specifications for public authorities to develop solar PV on their roofs. The measures in this roadmap have been fully implemented by now. Flanders is putting in place a framework for renewable energy communities. Therefore, the details of the framework are not clear yet.
Wallonia has historically developed a regulatory scheme for self-consumers, based on net-metering. It is not described in the NECP. Wallonia also proposes support to industries to feasibility studies for rooftop PV installations. The region will develop an obligation for a minimum renewable energy obligation in new and renovated buildings, but the means to achieve this are unclear (law and decrees? Budget?). The region has developed a certification system for installers including a quality label for companies. Wallonia is putting in place a framework for renewable energy communities. This framework will allow local energy sharing, submitted to a specific grid tariff. But it does not mention a scheme for collective self-consumption in the same building.
Growth in Solar Power Generation in Belgium
The Renewable Market Watch™ in its report Europe Solar Photovoltaic (PV) Power Market Outlook 2021÷2030 projects serious growth of solar power generation in Belgium by 2030. In this report, we have included information about the recent solar projects that are and would play a key role in expanding the solar power market in this country. You may read on the next rows more about four of these projects.
Eneco and ArcelorMittal unveiled Belgium’s largest solar roof in 2019. The installation of more than 27 000 solar panels on the roof of ArcelorMittal in Ghent has been completed, resulting in the largest solar roof in Belgium. Installed by Eneco, this is their largest project to date making ArcelorMittal Belgium even more sustainable. The power generated will be used internally by ArcelorMittal in Ghent. The panels are fixed on a framework made of steel coated with Magnelis®. The Magnelis® steel, produced at our production site in Liège among others, is a strong illustration of sustainability. Eneco - the largest solar energy producer in Belgium - installed this 7.5 million Euro solar roof. The park consists of 27 104 solar panels for which 157.2 t of steel was used. The total weight of the installation amounts to 1.5 million kilos. This means that ArcelorMittal now owns the fourth-largest solar park in Belgium and the largest solar roof in Belgium.
The floating PV partnership places 17,250 floating solar panels at Schansheide sand quarry, near Antwerp. On Tuesday 8 September 2020, Flemish Minister of Energy Zuhal Demir installed the last solar panel of a ground-breaking new solar farm built on water – the first of its kind in Flanders. The innovative facility has been built at Sibelco’s Schansheide sand quarry on the border of the Antwerp municipalities of Mol and Dessel in Belgium. The installation consists of 17,250 solar panels and will produce 7GWh/year, equivalent to the annual consumption of 2,000 households. Sibelco will use the bulk of the electricity in the production of high-quality silica sand at their local operation in Dessel. The partnership between Sibelco, the Limburg investment company LRM, Luminus and Group Machiels – known as Floating PV – started developing the project in 2017.
The Belgium solar energy market is expected to be heading toward an expansion phase by 2030. Factors propelling the market growth include concerns regarding negative environmental impacts of fossil fuels, a decrease of nuclear capacity and coal power generation capacity, compliance with the European Green Deal, and others. The COVID-19 crisis impacts the power market (including solar photovoltaic sectors) in Belgium, but we project a solid photovoltaic energy growth in these countries in the next years.
The more information about the solar power market in Belgium, including full contact details of solar project owners and developers, you may read here: Europe Solar Photovoltaic (PV) Power Market Outlook 2021÷2030
To download the executive summary brochure with sample pages, please access from here: Europe Solar Photovoltaic (PV) Power Market Outlook 2021÷2030 - Sample
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