Flanders introduces further cuts to solar subsidies

Share on facebook
Facebook
Share on twitter
Twitter
Share on linkedin
LinkedIn
Share on reddit
Reddit
Share on email
Email

Flemish minister for energy Freya Van den Bossche has reformed green energy support. The government intends to overhaul its renewables certificates' scheme, where renewable energy producers receive a certificate for every megawatt generated, alongside phasing out subsidies.

Van den Bossche announced that support for existing installations would not be affected. However, the government believes solar energy in particular is currently being over-subsidized and in need of adjustments to bring it in line with its current market value. Every renewable technology is expected to receive a specific number of certificates in order to gain the right form of support. Van den Bossche hopes a more stable market value will offer investors more confidence in the industry. Support will furthermore be limited to a cancellation period of an installation which, depending on the technology, will be ten to fifteen years.

Finally, suppliers who include unfair margins will be fined. Green power support is currently financed primarily by households and small enterprises, but as from 2013 it will be more evenly distributed, charging enterprises a more substantial share of the cost. At present about 2,200 energy-intensive businesses that use above 1GW and depend on their energy bill to remain competitive, can partially escape their share of the charge if they can prove their efforts to become more energy-efficient in future.

Only in March did we report that market analysts believe Belgium to be a profitable investment for solar manufacturers and consumers alike. An annual growth of 737MW of solar capacity and high residential growth rates of Q2 2011 allayed fears brought on by the July 1 digression of green certificates and abolishment of tax reductions.

Therefore it is not surprising that Flemish industry association PV Flanders is up in arms claiming that these adjustments were not expected for another six months and held without consulting industry experts. The association states that confidence in the industry began to wane since surprise cuts were announced in November last year.

“A stable and trustworthy policy is needed for the next few years to give the industry a boost so that funding in the future will be unnecessary,” said Alex Polfliet, chairman of PV-Flanders. “This cut to the financial support for PV comes as a shock: all the signals we received were of an informal adjustment on January 1, 2013 with no additional cut this year. We are in support of a gradual decline, but now the Flemish government has effectively pushed us down the stairs.” PV Flanders has warned that over 6,000 jobs in the PV sector could be at risk as a result of these cuts.

“We can only accept properly substantiated adjustments from January 1, 2013, following consultation with the sector,” says Daniel Herman, vice president of PV-Flanders. “We demand a constructive dialogue with the government to demonstrate that solar panels are essential in achieving the objective of green power generation with numerous economic benefits.”

Current installed capacity in Belgium is 2GW, accounting for an annual average of 4% of electricity generated pumped back into the grid.

With government targets for renewable energy increased from 13% to 20.5% by 2020, the industry does not expect this goal to be achievable without financial assistance from the government.

Experts had previously advised that solar power in Belgium would be able to compete against the price for traditional sources of electricity by 2017. Flanders' green power production currently stands at 7%.

Van den Bossche said, “We want to prevent electricity shortage in the near future, as has been suggested by supporters of nuclear energy. In the long term, an independent Flemish power supply based on green energy is the only viable option.”

2 December 2021
Intersolar is the world’s leading exhibition & conference series for the solar industry. As part of this event series, Intersolar India in Mumbai is India’s most pioneering exhibition and conference for India’s solar industry. It takes place annually and has a focus on the areas of photovoltaics, PV production and solar thermal technologies. Since 2019, Intersolar India is held under the umbrella of The smarter E India – India’s innovation hub for the new energy world.
9 December 2021
The Smart Energy Council is hosting Australia’s second Virtual Smart Energy Conference and Exhibition on Thursday, 9 December 2021. This event will show that the industry powers on despite COVID-19 and we are standing together undeterred in spirit. Bringing our global community together using the latest technology.
13 January 2022
Intersolar North America and Energy Storage North America “Come Together” for the first time in Long Beach, CA—connecting installers, developers, utilities, technology providers, policy makers, and key stakeholders from around the world to advance the clean energy future. With best-in-class conference programming, integrated exhibits and pavilions, and the live Solar Games installer competition, #isnaesna21 will showcase the industry trends, innovative solutions, and emerging talent transforming the solar, energy storage, and e-mobility markets. Register today to redeem our exclusive offer for PV Tech readers—free expo hall or 20% off full conference pass.
1 February 2022
As Solar Finance & Investment enters its ninth year, we sit on the cusp of a new power market with solar at its heart. The 2022 edition of the event will build on our years of expertise and relationships to bring investors and lenders together with top developers. Connect with leaders in the field and use exclusive insights to drive investment and development decisions for the future. Meet new and existing project partners at the largest gathering of European solar investors and lenders.
23 February 2022
Held annually since 2016, the Energy Storage Summit Europe is the place to be for senior stakeholders in the European storage industry. Designed to accelerate deployment of storage, we examine evolving chemistries, business models, project design, revenue stacks and use cases for storage. The 2022 edition will include exclusive content around longer duration solutions, energy strategies for wide-scale deployment of EVs and "EnTech", the event which sits at the intersection of digitisation, decentralisation and decarbonation of the power system. Come to meet TSOs, DSOs, Utilities, Developers, Investors and Lenders and leave with new contacts, partners and a wealth of information.
7 March 2022
Take your chance to join the most powerful platform in the MENA region. Middle East Energy (MEE), Intersolar, and ees, the leading energy exhibitions are joining hands to co-deliver an outstanding renewables and energy storage event at Middle East Energy 2021. Renewables and energy storage at MEE is the largest gathering of solar and renewable energy industry professionals in the Middle East & Africa, offering the most effective trade focused platform to international manufacturers and distributors looking to meet regional buyers.

Read Next

December 1, 2021
Major US bank Wells Fargo has closed its maiden tax equity investment into a colocated solar-storage project currently under construction in New Mexico, US.
PV Tech Premium
December 1, 2021
The price of shipping containers from Asia to Europe and North America remains high but should start to come down in the new year, although the main price drops won’t occur in earnest until 2023 when new capacity is brought online. That additional capacity, however, may be offset by new International Maritime Organisation (IMO) rules to address the industry’s emissions
December 1, 2021
Enefit Green, the renewables subsidiary of Estonian state-owned utility Eesti Energia, is looking to procure up to 500MW of solar modules in the next three years.
December 1, 2021
Tech major Amazon has added a further 2GW to its committed utility-scale solar PV capacity, adding projects in the US and Europe to its renewables portfolio.
December 1, 2021
Global solar PV deployment is on track to grow by 17% this year in spite of surging commodity prices increasing manufacturing costs, according to the International Energy Agency (IEA).
December 1, 2021
The European Commission (EC) has approved the extension of Poland’s auction scheme for renewable resources that is predicted to support the creation of 9GW of renewables after it passed EU state aid rules

Subscribe to Newsletter

Upcoming Events

Solar Media Events
February 1, 2022
London, UK
Solar Media Events
February 23, 2022
London, UK
Solar Media Events
March 23, 2022
Austin, Texas, USA
Solar Media Events
March 29, 2022
Lisbon, Portugal