Solar power in Belgium

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Solar potential in Belgium

Solar power in Belgium had been growing at an outstanding pace from 2009 until 2012, but has since declined significantly. 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]

In the afternoon of March 20, 2014, a new record of peak electricity generation had been achieved. According to the power supplier Eneco Energie, more than two gigawatt (GW) of electric power, corresponding to two full-sized nuclear power plants, were generated by solar PV and supplied more than 20 percent of the overall electricity consumption at the time.[2]

Overview[edit]

Belgium Growth of PV Capacity in Megawatts since 2005[3][4]
500
1,000
1,500
2,000
2,500
3,000
2005
2007
2009
2011
2013
Year Photovoltaics[1][5][6][7][8] CSP
MWp GWh MWp GWh
2008 71 n.a
2009 574 488
2010 787 560
2011 2,051 1,170
2012 2,768 2,115
2013 2,983 n.a.
Source: Photovoltaic Barometer

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.[9]

Installed capacity of solar power has increased drastically since 2007.[10] 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.[11]

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.[12] 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.[13]

In 2013, Belgium's watt per capita distribution, the total installed photovoltaic capacity per inhabitant, amounts to 267 watts. This is the third highest per-capita figure in the European Union—and therefore also in the world—just behind Germany (447 watts) and Italy (295 watts).[14] In terms of the overall installed capacity of 2,983 MW, Belgium ranked tenth and belongs to the Top 10 leading photovoltaic countries in the world.[15][16]

Flanders[edit]

As of July 2012 there are 42,644 photovoltaic installations in the Flemish region that receive green certificates.[17]

Installed capacity (MWp)[17]
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.[18] 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.[19] This resulted in a rally which caused the number of installations to almost double from 20,514 to 37,355 in 2011.[17] 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.[20]

In 2009, the city of Leuven has installed 1,810 solar panels on public buildings.[21]

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.[22] The total cost will be 166 million euros.[23]

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.[24][25]

Wallonia[edit]

Installed capacity (MWp) [9][12]
Year capacity
2009 64
2011 190

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Photovoltaic Barometer 2012
  2. ^ "Nooit zoveel zonne-energie geproduceerd in België". Het Laatste Nieuws. 2014-03-20. Retrieved 9 April 2014. 
  3. ^ "Global Market Outlook for Photovoltaics 2014-2018". www.epia.org. EPIA - European Photovoltaic Industry Association. p. 34. Archived from the original on 12 June 2014. Retrieved 12 June 2014. 
  4. ^ collected historical data from article growth of photovoltaics
  5. ^ Photovoltaic Barometer 2010
  6. ^ Photovoltaic Barometer 2011
  7. ^ Photovoltaic Barometer
  8. ^ EUROBSER'VER. "Photovoltaic Barometer - installations 2012 and 2013" (PDF). http://www.energies-renouvelables.org. pp. 5,6. Archived from the original on 22 June 2014. Retrieved 21 June 2014. 
  9. ^ a b "Het geïnstalleerde PV-vermogen in Vlaanderen, Wallonië en Brussel" (in Dutch). architectura.be. 2012-2-15. Retrieved 30 November 2012. 
  10. ^ Market growth of solar power in Flanders
  11. ^ Feiten en tendenzen 2009
  12. ^ a b Le nombre de panneaux solaires explose
  13. ^ 50.000 Vlaamse gezinnen hebben zonnepanelen eind 2009
  14. ^ EUROBSER'VER. "Photovoltaic Barometer - installations 2012 and 2013" (PDF). http://www.energies-renouvelables.org. p. 7 Extra |pages= or |at= (help). Archived from the original on 22 June 2014. Retrieved 21 June 2014. 
  15. ^ "Snapshot of Global PV 1992-2013". 2nd Edition ISBN 978-3-906042-19-0. International Energy Agency - Photovoltaic Power Systems Programme. 2014. p. 11. Archived from the original on 5 April 2014. 
  16. ^ provisional IEA-PVPS data later revised, see article growth of photovoltaics for additional sources.
  17. ^ a b c Energy regulator's bi-yearly statistics on installations receiving green certificates: mid-2012 2011 2010 2009 2008 2007 2006
  18. ^ Dossier zonnepanelen, nieuwsblad.be]
  19. ^ "Vlaamse regering past steun voor groene stroom aan" (in Dutch). freyavandenbossche.be. 10/12/2010. 
  20. ^ Antwerpen wil 2.500 m² zonnepanelen plaatsen op stadsgebouwen
  21. ^ Leuven plaatst zonnepanelen op 4 stadsgebouwen
  22. ^ Katoen Natie heeft grootste installatie zonnepanelen in Europa
  23. ^ België heeft grootste installatie zonnepanelen van Europa
  24. ^ High-speed Euro train gets green boost from two miles of solar panels
  25. ^ Belgium launches Europe’s first solar train