Solar power in Belgium

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Solar potential in Belgium

The exploitation of Solar power is on the rise in Belgium. In 2012 the installed capacity expanded to over 2.6 GWp, nearly all of it grid connected. Photovoltaics produced an estimated 2115 GWh of electricity in 2012 in Belgium.[1] On March 20, 2014, solar power generated 2,067 MW, over 20% of the consumed electricity.[2]

Overview[edit]

Year Photovoltaics[1][3][4][5] CSP
MWp GWh MWp GWh
2008 70.9
2009 574 488
2010 787 560
2011 2050.6 1169.6
2012 2649.9 2115

The bulk of photovoltaic capacity is installed in the Flemish Region (88%), the remaining 12% is found mostly in Wallonia. The smaller Brussels-Capital Region had an installed capacity of 7 MWp at the end of 2011.[6]

Installed capacity of solar power has increased drastically since 2007.[7] During 2009 the amount of solar installations quadrupled from 16,000 to 65,000. Residential and small installations had a combined power of about 220 MWp.[8] In December 2009, there were 35,500 solar power installations in the Flemish region, 17,000 in Wallonia and 7,000 in the Brussels Capital Region.[9] The number of installations in the Flemish region in particular was expanding rapidly at that time due to a favourable support measure expiring at the end of the year.[10]

Flanders[edit]

As of July 2012 there are 42,644 photovoltaic installations in the Flemish region that receive green certificates.[11]

Installed capacity (MWp)[11]
Year Antwerp Limburg East Flanders Flemish Brabant West Flanders Total
2006 0.762 0.468 0.801 0.722 0.881 3.6
2007 3.9 4.8 4.4 3.0 5.9 22.0
2008 19.4 22.7 17.7 11.1 18.3 89.1
2009 110 88 149 65 130 542
2010 195 157 219 109 216 896
2011 386 350 362 194 379 1,672
mid-2012 426 400 400 218 414 1,857

Subsidies[edit]

Towards 2011, it became clear that Flemish subsidies for solar panels had a significant impact on the cost of electricity of households without a photovoltaic installation. An added cost of up to 148 EUR is charged annually. Flemish minister for Energy Freya van den Bossche admitted that subsidies were too high, especially for large-scale installations.[12] The guaranteed minimum price for electricity produced was reduced. For small photovoltaic installations(less than 1 MW) it was reduced from 330 EUR per MWh to 250 EUR per MWh by January 2012 with the goal of reaching renewable energy targets at a reasonable cost.[13] This resulted in a rally which caused the number of installations to almost double from 20,514 to 37,355 in 2011.[11] The minimum price will be lowered further to 93 EUR per MWh from 2013 onwards.

Notable installations[edit]

In October 2009, the city of Antwerp announced that they want to install 2,500 m² of solar panels on roofs of public buildings, that will generate 265 MWh per annum.[14]

In 2009, the city of Leuven has installed 1,810 solar panels on public buildings.[15]

In December 2009, Katoen Natie announced that they will install 800,000 m² of solar panels in various places, including Antwerp. It is expected that the installed solar power in the Flemish Region will be increased by 25%, when finished. That will be the largest installation in Europe. The installation produces about 35 GWh yearly.[16] The total cost will be 166 million euros.[17]

In 2011 a two mile above ground "tunnel", built to avoid having to fell trees for a new high-speed railroad, was covered with solar panels.[18][19]

Wallonia[edit]

Installed capacity (MWp) [6][9]
Year capacity
2009 64
2011 190

See also[edit]

References[edit]