PV in Flanders not ‘dead’; solar capacity reaches over 2GW

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The Belgian region of Flanders has achieved an installed capacity of just over 2GW under Flanders’ green certificate scheme (GC).

The addition of 606kW of installed PV capacity in the first two months of this year came in the form of 129 new PV systems. This brings the total number of operational PV systems in Flanders to 225,327, according to figures from local solar association PV Vlaandere.

PV Vlaanderen president Alex Polfliet said this was a slow start to the year, but is optimistic that the situation will improve later this year.

Polfliet told Photon he blamed the introduction of a retroactive grid tax for all PV systems installed in Flanders and cuts to the region’s GC scheme for the drop in installed capacity.

Polfliet told Photon: “PV in Flanders is not dead, it just awoke from a deep coma and is trying to recover now”.

The grid tax, introduced in December 2012, charges system owners €65 (US$85) a year for each kilowatt of installed capacity. In addition to the tax’s current impact. Polfliet said the tax had discouraged further investments in PV because the tax could be increased at any time in the future.

At the same time, cuts to the GC programme implemented in August have weakened interest in PV. The value of GCs, which are awarded to PV installations up to 10 kW, was reduced from €210 per MWh to €90 per MWh in August.

The lifespan of GCs was also reduced, cut in half from 20 years to just 10 years.

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