17 March 2022

With the current growing threat of Europe’s energy and gas tap, member states are revising their plans to cope with possible shortages. Belgium, too, is preparing emergency scenarios. As a result, measures to speed up the green energy transition in all Belgian regions are being taken, with solar energy as one of the important building blocks. 

Commitment to solar panels 

Belgium has had a fast recovery after the corona crisis but considering the current international climate, the transit of gas and energy is standing on uncertain ground. Although the Belgian economy is growing, the purchasing power is not increasing because of rising energy prices. 

Acting as a buffer and long-term solution, it is therefore increasingly interesting to invest in solar panels. The Belgian government is committed to the energy transition with its 2030 global investment plan, which foresees the construction and maintenance of solar panels with a total capacity equal to that of the existing nuclear power plants. 

Solar panels are good for the environment and reduce CO2 emissions.  They are a profitable investment, allowing less dependency on major price shocks in the energy market. Most installations pay for themselves in about ten years. After that, they provide free electricity for more than ten years. 

The high return of solar panels: what now? 

What are GSC’s? 

Green certificates are certificates awarded to stimulate the production of green electricity. They are distributed to all producers of green electricity who are eligible and have applied in accordance with the regulations. But as of 2022, the status of these certificates differs per region as a result of their high return. 

Green Funding and grants in Flanders 

1. Green certificates 

Today, the return on solar panels is so high that they pay for themselves in less than 10 years, without premiums or support measures. Therefore, in Flanders, green certificates are no longer automatically awarded for medium-sized solar and wind projects. 

Owners of installations that produce electricity in the Flemish Region based on renewable energy sources (wind, solar, biomass, etc.) are eligible: 

  • For PV systems (solar panels) and wind turbines (windmills) to be eligible, the net capacity must exceed 2MW and 300kW respectively; 
  •  The certificates can be sold at a negotiated price to the electricity suppliers in Flanders; 
  • Or at a fixed minimum price to the distribution network operator if connected to the public electricity network.  

2. Open call: Green Power 2022 

In 2022, there are a total of three calls for medium-sized solar installations and small and medium-sized wind turbines. The projects that produce the greenest electricity with the least support then receive funding: 

  • Green energy, CALL 1: from 01/03/2022-15/03/2022 
  • Green energy, CALL 2: from 14/06/2022-28/06/2022 
  • Green energy, CALL 3: from 13/10/2022-27/03/2022 

Green Funding and Grants in Brussels  

1. Certificates of the urban environment 

In the Brussels region, green certificates are still awarded to installations of solar panels. This is because other forms of green energy (such as wind) find it difficult to find their place in an urban environment.  However, solar panel installations installed as of 2021 receive (approximately 20%) fewer green certificates. 

  • A GSC is awarded to professional or private electricity producers and can then be sold to an energy market operator 

2. RENOLUTION-funding 

As of 2022, the RENOLUTION-funding adds to Brussels’ ambition to achieve its renewable energy targets. It is the new name of the Energy Premiums, the Premium for the Renovation of the Living Environment, and the Premium for Beautification of the Facades. 

  • With a budget of 53.6 million euro, applications for funding start in March 2022 
  • All applications for subsidies will have to be submitted after the work has been carried out 

Green Funding and Grants in Wallonia 

In Wallonia, there is no support mechanism for the installation of solar panels. In fact, there are no more green certificates, just as in Flanders. 

1. Prosumer tariff 

Walloon prosumers who do not (yet) have a digital meter can have an analog meter that turns back. They are also subject to a prosumer tariff, a compensation for the use of the energy network: 

  • Ensuring that prosumers pay correctly for the part of their network use that the reversing meter cannot measure 
  • 023, a consumer tariff of 45.73% must be paid  
  • From 2024: the premium is no longer paid and 100% of the consumer rate is borne by the owners of solar panels 

Rebuilding towards a sustainable economy 

Solar energy, and thus panels, for a major step within the Belgian Energy and Climate plan. The plan describes how the country will contribute to the long-term goals of reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 2030. The goal is to transition to a more sustainable, reliable and affordable energy system. 

FI Group consultants are actively informing themselves on ways to lower barriers to energy savings. This, by keeping up with the climate plans of various sectors and by gaining knowledge on projects for regional, national and European subsidy mechanisms. They have the necessary expertise to guide and help you through the application process, and advise you in the needed funding. 

FI Group has 20 years of experience and wants to support you in understanding and intercepting the available R&D+I opportunities. Our experts are at your disposal to analyse your project and to take the next steps together with you. 

Yvette Poumpalova 

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