National Energy and Climate Plan

Belgium

SolarPower Europe Assessment

1. Solar Target

Information available in the NECP
RES target 18%
RES-E target 40% (according to the Energy Pact of the four Energy Ministers of Belgium, adopted December 2017)

Flanders: 28.5 TWh
Wallonia: 37% (5.7-10.1 TWh)
Brussels-Capital: 303 GWh
Electricity in the RES target for transport No: Electricity in transport is accounted for in RES-E.
Solar target The production target from Solar Photovoltaic will be:
- Flanders: 6.7 GW / 6.2 TWh in 2030
- Wallonia: 3.3 TWh in 2030
Solar target per segment No information

Overall quality and ambition: Intermediate

PV has a high potential in Belgium and the technology costs are going downwards: Belgium’s ambitions for Solar could therefore be reviewed upwards to raise Belgium’s contribution to the EU target for renewables.

A study conducted by Ecofys, Belgium could set a renewable energy target between 22,5% and 27,2%. The association recommends an objective at 25% renewables minimum.

The study “Towards 100% renewable energy in 2050” shows that:

– the potential in Belgium on well-oriented rooftops only is 250km². This translated at the time in a 50 GW, but this capacity is likely to be higher today due to performance increases.

– The potential in Belgium on well-oriented rooftops and ground-mounted PV on maximum 10% of the territory is 170 GW.

Despite the document being from December 2012, the analysis of the technologies’ potential remains a good reference except for the costs figures which have sharply declined.

A +1 GW solar capacity per year between 2020 and 2030, starting from a 4 GW installed capacity in 2018 would result in +/- 15 GW total cumulative capacity in 2030, which is very far from total potential on good, oriented rooftops only.

The Belgian NECP could therefore be more ambitious. This could be driven by an increase of the renewable electricity target by 50% from a current 40,4% and an increase of the annual deployment rate for PV from 500 MW a year to at least 1 GW a year.

2. Auctions

Information available in the NECP
General information on auctions Partially:
Wallonia: Yes
Flanders: No Information
Details of the auction pipeline (schedule and volumes) No information
Details on auction design Partially:
Wallonia: Green certificates are set to be progressively combined with competitive bidding processes, which will be characterised by a price ceiling and several criteria (environmental and social). Auctions will be technology specific until the competitiveness will be quasi acquired.
Flanders: No information

Overall quality and ambition: Poor to Intermediate

No overall plan at federal level targets solar. Wallonia includes information on auction design, but not volumes and schedule. No information in the Flemish plan.

The Belgian plan should develop a more comprehensive framework aiming at supporting the development of large, ground-mounted installations.

In particular, the Belgian government should consider drawing up an inventory of suitable surfaces for large PV systems development, as former industrial sites, etc. The Belgian government should also develop a reference framework for the development of ground-mounted installation, in order to support local authorities in identifying adequate deployment areas.

3. Administrative procedures

Information available in the NECP
Assessment of current administrative issues Not clearly
The plan acknowledges the difficulties and additional costs caused by administrative procedures but does not detail which are the issues encountered.
Remedy measures Flanders: has introduced the following measures:
- A unique environmental permit merging environmental and urban permits
- Launch of studies to ease the deployment of renewable energy installations, including on the role of territorial planification.

Wallonia: mentions its willingness to transpose the RED II to simplify administrative procedures but does not detail specific measures except for the wind sector.
Introduction of one contact point for the permit granting procedure (RED II, article 16) Partially

Wallonia: mentions the creation of "Energy One-stop-shops" (Guichets de l'énergie), but the latter are providing information and are not dealing with administrative procedures.

Flanders: for installations <750 kW the only contact point is the DSO and for most installations no permits are required.

Overall quality and ambition: Intermediate

Both regions propose some measures and express their objective to transpose the Clean Energy Package. In Flanders, a one-stop shop is already in place for installations up to 750 kW, even though this is not mentioned in the plan.

However, the regions do not explain how they will transpose these provisions, such as the development of a one-stop-shop in Wallonia.

In addition, the region Brussels Capital does not propose any measure regarding the simplification of administrative procedures.

4. Prosumers

Information available in the NECP
Current prosumer share Partially
Brussels capital mentions that 200 projects of rooftop PV on public authorities’ buildings, for a total installed capacity of 12,5 MWp, have been installed in 2020.
Targets for prosumers Belgium does not have explicit goals on the development of prosumers. However:
- the federal authorities have an objective to equip all public buildings with on-site rooftop PV,

- Brussels Capital has launched the SolarClick programme, aiming at developing rooftop solar projects on public authorities buildings, and has an objective to equip with solar PV an energy sharing schemes 25% of its non-residential building stock (as part of the Expansion économique programme) by 2020, 50% by 2025, 100% by 2030. It also proposes to use renewable energy sourcing for all public buildings at the end of the current mandature.

- both Flanders and Wallonia have a clear objective to develop prosumer installations.
Support schemes for prosumers - At federal level, a programme of renewable energy sourcing of the whole federal public building stock could include rooftop prosumers schemes. - At federal level, a programme of renewable energy sourcing of the whole federal public building stock could include rooftop prosumers schemes.

- Flanders has a "Roadmap for Solar" which includes (i) a mapping of the appropriate rooftop surface for PV installations, (ii) a forecast of solar PV forecasts in TV weather forecasts, (iii) reduced period for the extension of PV installations, (iv) minimum share of on-site renewable energy in buildings at 10 to 15kWh/sq.m in new residential buildings and 20 kWh/sq.m in non-residential buildings, (v) involvement of various sectors on the integration of PV installation, (vi) publication of a guide on solar, (vii) creation of energy loans (total €55 million per year) and / including €5 million yearly loans for rooftop PV on school buildings, (viii) development of a specifications for public authorities to develop solar PV on their roofs. The measures in this roadmap have been fully implemented by now.

- Wallonia has historically developed a regulatory scheme for self-consumers, based on net-metering. It is not described in the NECP. Wallonia also proposes support to industries to feasibility studies for rooftop PV installations. The region will develop an obligation for a minimum renewable energy obligation in new and renovated buildings, but the means to achieve this are unclear (law and decrees? Budget?). The region has developed a certification system for installers including a quality label for companies.

- Brussels Capital proposes the following measures
(i) continue its SolarClick programme for rooftop PV development in public buildings,
(ii) develop an incentive programme for private building stocks,
(iii) develop an obligation to integrate PV installations for new buildings. The region will study the possibility to develop an obligation of rooftop PV on large parking lots, the mandatory realisation of feasibility study for new eco neighbourhoods,
(iv) develop a specific programme for rooftop PV in social housing, through the Fonds Climate funding,
(v) a specific support programme for BIPV,
(vi) an evaluation of the effectiveness of the green certificate system will be conducted, in order to simplify the system and maintain an incentive to RES. The study will be presented in 2020 and related regulation will be adopted by 2023.)
Collective self-consumption framework - Wallonia is putting in place a framework for renewable energy communities. This framework will allow local energy sharing, submitted to a specific grid tariff. But it does not mention a scheme for collective self-consumption in the same building.

- Brussels Capital will run pilot projects for collective self-consumption by 2020, to test new rules for the functioning of energy markets, support mechanisms

- Flanders is putting in place a framework for renewable energy communities. This will be approved by the government in the summer of 2020. Therefore, the details of the framework are not clear yet.

Overall quality and ambition: Intermediate to Good

The regions prioritise the development of prosumers and have developed a number of programmes that tackle various non-economic barriers to the development of renewables – such as education, access to finance, etc.

However, the plan does not detail which support schemes are going to be put in place following the phase-out of the net-metering.

In addition, the Belgian plan should foresee the development of self-consumption systems.

5. Power Purchase Agreements

Information available in the NECP
Assessment of current barriers to PPA development No information
Enabling framework for PPAs No information

Overall quality and ambition: Intermediate

The current plan does not contain any information on PPAs or on a related enabling framework.

However, in practice, the development of PPAs in Belgium is rather positive, with satisfying with 5 projects developed for a total capacity of 1.2 GW.

6. Flexibility and storage

Information available in the NECP
Assessment of current demand-side flexibility and storage capacity No information
Targets for battery storage Partially: Federal level estimate of 4340-5080 MW needed by 2030, listing as possible sources DSM, electricity storage, flexibility in production and interconnections. However, no specific target includes battery storage. No information for Wallonia or Flanders.
Targets for demand side response No information
Support framework for flexibility (market access, balancing markets, network charges) Federal level: system flexibility will be encouraged, including through aggregation, integration of intra-day markets etc.

Wallonia: a series of measures are or will be put in place to improve system flexibility, targeting security of supply and congestion management; this includes changes in grid network tariff structures and support to decentralised production and new flexibility sources,

Flanders: reference to the implementation of CEP provisions; improving storage capacity, including battery storage
Support schemes for storage Partially:
Federal level: No information
Wallonia: No information
Flanders: current support through purchase bonus, to be assessed in 2020

Overall quality and ambition: Intermediate

Implementation of a flexibility framework across Belgium appears somewhat heterogeneous, with the two regions at times focusing on different aspects and the federal level adding an additional layer of complexity. No analysis of the current capacity is made, nor specific provisions or targets for batteries and DSR. However, Flanders has a support scheme in place for storage.

7. Grid integration

Information available in the NECP
Assessment of current state of play Partially
The plan mentions the need to develop the current network to cope with increased electrification and increased renewable energy capacity.
However, the plan does not mention specifically the need to modernise the distribution system.
Measures for renewable grid integration Partially
At federal level, the TSO Elia has published a Federal plan for development 2020 - 2030, which foresee the reinforcement and extension of the 380kV network in order to connect new RES capacity.
However, the plan does not mention any measure related to the distribution system or the deployment of smart grid technologies.

Overall quality and ambition: Poor to Intermediate

The plan does not assess the importance of modernising the distribution grid, while the country presents an important share of prosumers.

Methodology

The assessment of National Energy and Climate Plans was based on both quantitative and qualitative criteria:

–    Quantitative criteria assessed the availability of the right amount of information in the plan. European countries developed their NECP on the basis of a template defined in the Governance Regulation (Annex I). The assessment consisted in evaluating the level of information available, based on legal obligation of member states and best practices.

–    Qualitative criteria assessed the ambition of the plans with regards to solar PV development as well as the quality of the proposed measures compared to the barriers faced by solar PV developers. This qualitative assessment has been made based on interviews with local industry representatives, when available.

For each category, each parameter was affected a coefficient dependent on their importance. 

The details of the grading system adopted is presented below.

Based on these criteria, an evaluation of each NECP has been carried out. All grades has been converted to a scale from zero (minimum) to six (maximum) points. All grades have been rounded to the nearest 0.5.

The assessment is based on SolarPower Europe’s best knowledge at the time of publication.

Category

Assessment criteria

Grade

1. Solar Target

Presence of a solar target


Presence of a solar target disaggregated per segment


Overall quality and ambition*


1 point


1 point


2 points


2. Auctions

Presence of information


Details on the auction pipeline (schedule and volumes)


Details on the auction design


Overall quality and ambition


1 point


1 point



1 point


2 points

3. Administrative procedures

Presence of an assessment of current administrative issues


Presence of measures to address issues


Introduction of a “one contact point” system for the permit granting procedure, as per the RED II, article 16

Overall quality and ambition

1 point



1 point


1 point



2 points

4. Prosumers

Details on current prosumer share and support schemes


Presence of objective or trajectory for prosumers development


Presence of support schemes for prosumers


Presence of provisions for collective self-consumption


Overall quality and ambition in prosumers

1 point



1 point



1 point


1 point


2 points


5. Power Purchase Agreements (PPAs)

Assessment of barriers to PPAs


Presence of measures to develop an enabling regulatory framework


Overall quality and ambition

1 point


1 point



2 points

6. Flexibility and Storage


Assessment of current demand-side flexibility and storage capacity


Presence of objective and/or provisions on battery storage


Presence of objective and/or provisions on demand side response


Presence of a support framework for flexibility (market access, balancing markets, network charges)


Presence of support schemes for storage


Overall quality and ambition

1 point



0,5 point



0,5 point



1 point



1 point


2 points

7. Grid Development

Presence of information on the current grid development or existence of a grid development plan or assessment of the challenges related to grid integration of renewables


Presence of measures to improve grid connection and integration of renewables


Overall quality and ambition


0,5 point





0,5 point



2 points


*For the assessment of the level of ambition across the solar targets, a conversion from TWh to GW has been necessary in a number of cases. In order to do so, average solar irradiance levels have been taken from Solargis’ Solar Resource Maps of Europe (https://solargis.com/maps-and-gis-data/download/europe). SolarPower Europe Global Market Outlook 2020-2024 data for cumulative capacity in 2019 has been used to calculate net solar PV additions by 2030. Moreover, in order to infer the W/capita ratio in 2030, the projections of EU population per country have been retrieved from the United Nation World Population Prospects 2019 (available at https://population.un.org/wpp/Download/Probabilistic/Population/).

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