People who install solar panels on their roof from next year can count on a premium of up to 1,500 euros. In her Solar Plan, Minister of Energy Zuhal Demir (N-VA) aims to have 1,500 megawatts of extra capacity on Flemish roofs by 2025.
From 1 January, 27,000 families can count on a premium of up to 1,500 euros annually for the installation of solar panels on their roof or in their garden. With this so-called PV premium, referring to photovoltaics or photovoltaic cells, private individuals can earn back their investment in an estimated ten years.
All over Flanders, 400,000 installations with solar panels must be installed over the course of five years with that money, good for a capacity of 1,500 megawatts (MW). That roughly corresponds to the production of one and a half nuclear power plant.
Minister Demir acknowledges that this is a very ambitious mission. ‘But it is also essential to realize the energy and climate transition. Today there is approximately 3,600 MW of solar panels. These are spread over more than 500,000 installations, which cover approximately 5 percent of the suitable roof area. So there is still a lot of potential, ‘she says.
The Demir cabinet has developed a different support mechanism for companies that want to install solar panels. They can participate in calls for medium-sized solar projects from 40 kilowatts to 2 megawatts. For each call, the Flemish government distributes investment support to the companies that can generate the cheapest green energy on their roof. The Flemish government will pay out 25 million euros annually for this.
In addition, with its Solar Plan, the Flemish government also wants to make it possible for citizens, local authorities and companies to unite in an energy community and thus share generated energy.
The Flemish government has allocated more than 57 million euros for the PV premium and project calls. “Flanders is thus once again proving its ambition to move towards more renewable energy in a well-considered manner,” says Demir.
Green power certificates
The two formulas replace the detested green energy certificates, which were passed on in households’ energy bills. The more people and companies placed solar panels under that regime, the higher the subsidies and in accordance with the energy bill. ‘We will pay off the 29 billion euros in certificates issued until 2030,’ says Demir.
The minister is working to ensure that the invoice for the PV premium does not reach the families. ‘Cost efficiency is paramount, we combat over-subsidization and we will not just calculate everything in the energy bill,’ says Demir.
However, the subsidies are paid from the budget, which is fed by taxes. But the Demir cabinet denies that this is a pocket-pocket operation from the energy bill to the tax bill. “Now there is only one-off support and a fixed budget per year is provided,” she says.