Belgium needs PV to meet obligations

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Belgium desperately needs more renewable energy, as it is on track to miss its 2020 renewable energy target. Solar, especially C&I and utility-scale PV, is set to take off as a result. It must be remembered that most of the 4.3 GW of the currently deployed solar power in Belgium’s three macro-regions, which have all provided incentives in the past only to small-scale PV, is represented by installations not exceeding 10 kW in size.

The dominance of the small-scale sector now seems to be fading, with the first big rooftop projects, as well as large-scale ground-mounted plants, having been announced or even completed. A case in point is the 100 MW solar park in Lommel, developed by French energy company Engie and commissioned in June.

The scheme providing premium tariffs behind these new projects, however, now seems to be run at the discretion of the government of the Flemish-speaking macro-region of Flanders, and it is unclear how much growth this may deliver in the near future. However, despite this lack of visibility for the large-scale segment, the first benchmarks for the pricing of PPAs are now being set. The support level, on the other hand, is quite low, which shows that under the right circumstances, solar PV is getting ever more competitive in Flanders and throughout Belgium.

Belgium’s first PPA-driven C&I solar project was commissioned at the beginning of June. French-speaking Wallonia and the metropolitan region of Brussels still need to do more for solar in all segments, but they will likely also follow the trail blazed by Flanders.