• The Flemish Energy Agency Vlaams Energieagentschap (VEA) has launched a Sun Guide to help owners of large rooftops connect with PV developers and local residents
  • The collaboration could support large rooftop owners in securing enough financing through private investors and crowdfunding to set up large-scale rooftop PV projects
  • Sun Guide is following a VEA campaign asking people to indicate large rooftop areas in their municipality that they think could be used for community solar projects
  • Sun Guide includes information about green energy certificates, recommendations for good business plans and tips to choose the right installer

Belgium’s Flanders region is encouraging its citizens to opt for and invest in community solar. The Flemish Energy Agency Vlaams Energieagentschap (VEA) and Energy Minister Bart Tommelein have introduced the concept of Zonnegids or Sun Guide. This initiative is intended to bring together developers, owners of large rooftops, local residents and potential investors with the aim of setting up large rooftop PV projects.  

Along with individuals who can invest in such systems, there will also be a push for crowdfunding. The Sun Guide provides a step-by-step process to explain the specifics of the scheme. It contains information about green energy certificates, business plan recommendations and tips to choose the right installer. It will also include case studies of successful projects.

The Sun Guide is following on from the “Overal Zonnepanelen” or “Everywhere Solar Panels” campaign, launched by the VEA. It asked people to identify large roofs in their municipality that are unused. They were asked to vote for the roof where they’d like to see solar panels by March 18, 2018. The VEA will then help installing solar panels on those roofs.

Tommelein says this campaign has indicated that there are a lot of rooftop spaces suitable for large PV projects.

Meanwhile, the region has exceeded its 2017 targets for both solar and wind energy, informed Tommelein while speaking in front of the Flemish parliament recently. With 150 MW of growth proposed for both technologies last year, there were installations of 177 MW and 204 MW, respectively, Tommelein said. Flanders was the No. 1 region in Belgium, registering 50% annual growth with 264 MW of PV installations in 2017 (see Belgium Installed 264 MW Of PV In 2017).

The minister is confident that the region will achieve its targets by 2020. The region of Flanders in Belgium has increased its 2020 targets for solar and wind to 3,544 GWh and 3,030 GWh, respectively. Previously the government was aiming for 2,246 GWh for solar and 1,683 GWh for wind power. (see Flanders Ups Solar 2020 Target).