The energy regulator of the Belgian region of Wallonia CWaPE has submitted to public consultation a new tariff methodology that will introduce, among other things, a grid-fee for residential PV installations for the period 2019-2023.
The new tax, which is expected to come into force on January 1, 2019, will compel PV system owners to pay between €330 and €560 to the region’s power providers depending on the system size and on the geographic position of the electricity suppliers. According to local newspaper L’Echo, approximately 131,000 owners of PV installations will be affected by the new fee.
The local association Touche pas à mes certificats verts (Don’t touch my green certificates), which represents the interests of small PV power producers in the region, said that the new fee is quite disproportionely compared to the benefits that PV is bringing to Wallonia’s electricity system, and has asked the regional government to cancel what it calls a hidden tax.
The CWaPE made its first attempt to introduce a grid-fee for PV installations in 2015, although the Court of Appeal of Brussels revoked a similar fee introduced by Belgium’s Flemish-speaking region of Flanders in 2014.
Wallonia reached a cumulative capacity of 916 MW at the end of 2016, according to provisional statistics released by Belgian renewable energy association Apere. Most of the region’s PV capacity comes from PV systems up to 10 kW installed under the incentive programs Solwatt and Qualiwatt, the latter of which is still running. In 2016, new PV additions totaled 64 MW.
Each of Belgium’s three macro-regions, Flanders, Wallonia and the Brussels Metropolitan Region, has its own energy systems and its own policy for solar and renewables.