- Belgium has exceeded 6 GW of cumulative installed PV capacity in the country, according to APERe
- It includes 1 GW added in 2020, with Flanders contributing more than 800 MW, followed by 140 MW in Wallonia and over 50 MW in Brussels
- Belgium should have an ambitious solar power target for 2030, according to APERe that suggests at least 22 GW installed capacity as against 11 GW currently targeted
The Association for the Promotion of Renewable Energies (APERe) in Belgium calculates the total installed solar PV capacity of the country till the end of 2020 exceeded 6 GW (6,036 MW to be precise). Of this, 1 GW was reported to have been added in 2020 alone, an annual increase of 25% over 808 MW in 2019.
These statistics differ from those released by the country’s electricity transmission operator Elia that in January 2021 said 901 MW new PV capacity was installed in 2020 taking the aggregate to 4,788 MW (see 900 MW New Solar Installed In Belgium In 2020).
Back to APERe data, the association believes with 1 GW having come up in 2020, it dethrones 2011 as the best year for PV in Belgium when the annual installations added up to 941 MW.
Of this 1 GW installed in 2020, more than 800 MW was installed in Flanders, around 140 MW in Wallonia and over 50 MW in Brussels. Compared to Flanders and Brussels where PV additions grew in 2020, in Wallonia there was a decline which APERe attributes to a 60% decline in large installations of 250 kW to 750 kW capacity, and a drop of 85% in very large installations of more than 750 kW.
Compared to large installations, small scale capacity continued to flourish in the country, especially in Flanders where the annual growth in this segment was over 45%. APERe says this increase in Flanders was thanks to the regional government allowing 15-year guaranteed compensation for solar PV system owners under net metering, which was overturned by a Belgian court recently (see Flanders Drafts Compensation Scheme For PV Owners).
Overall, small scale installations of up to 10 kW capacity represent 60% to 65% of installed capacity of Belgium, 10 kW to 250 kW represent 10% and large and very large installations account for 2% of the capacity.
Solar PV produced more than 5 TWh of clean energy in 2020, thereby representing 6% of the country’s total electricity consumption which was 82 TWh.
Under the current plans, Belgium has already exceeded the 5 GW target for solar PV capacity it had been aiming to achieve by 2020, and now APERe believes the country should get ambitious in this space and can reach at least 22 GW with 1.5 GW annual installations by 2030, well over its current target of 11 GW.