- EnergyVille estimates Belgium’s technical rooftop solar and onshore wind potential at 118 GW
- Of this, rooftop solar alone offers 99.6 GW potential, led by Flanders at 65 GW, Wallonia with 30 GW and Brussels with 4.2 GW
- Belgium can easily generate 132 TWh annually if all of this potential is exploited fully, far exceeding the country’s current demand of 85 TWh annually
Belgian research institute EnergyVille believes the country has an additional technical potential to install 99.6 GW rooftop solar, equally split between residential and commercial & industrial segments. The region of Flanders alone offers potential to install 65 GW, followed by 30 GW in Wallonia, and 4.2 GW in Brussels.
A collaboration between Belgian research institutes KU Leuven, VITO, imec and UHasselt, EnergyVille says this 99.6 GW is out of 118 GW technical potential Belgium holds for rooftop PV and onshore wind installations, as it assumes covering the available roof space in the country with 226 W per m² PV module at a specified tilt and orientation basis the building type. Till the end of 2020, the country had installed 6 GW cumulatively with 2.25 GW of onshore wind, and 3.76 GW of rooftop solar (see Belgium Installed 1 GW New PV Capacity In 2020).
This 118 GW can generate approximately 132 TWh annually, exceeding the country’s current energy demand of 85 TWh annually.
According to the researchers, Belgium can easily reach its 2030 renewable energy targets by utilizing close to 6% of the technical potential for rooftop solar PV as ascertained by them, and 17% of the technical potential for onshore wind turbines.
Under its National Energy and Climate Plan (NECP), Belgium aims to generate 9.6 TWh renewable energy by 2030 from onshore wind, and 9.75 TWh from solar PV.
The country could look at managing its spatial limitations to achieve its renewable potential which currently doesn’t offer too many opportunities for large scale projects. In the absence of clear policy guidelines to prioritize ground-mounted PV over other land uses, nor for building integrated PV (BIPV), the analysts did not cover technical potential these applications could offer to increase the use of PV in the country.