Country Report - Belgium

Status of Solar Heating/Cooling and Solar Buildings - 2019

Status of the Market for Solar Thermal Systems

Market Size and Trends

Solar power in Belgium grew at an relevant pace from 2008 until 2012, but its growth has since slowed.

In 2013, solar heating in Belgium accounted to 374 MW (thermal). In 2016, the cumulative installed capacity amounted to 408 MW, corresponding to 36.3 kW per 1000 capita. The most recent yearly market trend has been estimated at a rise of 3.3%.

 

Typical Applications and Products

The main application is domestic hot water; the systems are mainly pumped systems.
 

Main Market Drivers

The main market driver is the building regulation for new buildings: the regulation requires a certain performance level and solar water heaters help to reach the requirement. But the main sales in existing buildings are with owners who specifically chose a solar water heater for environment reasons.

Currently, the solar hot water systems are in competition with PV systems coupled with a heat pump.

To ascertain market drivers, it is important to consider that 2018 was characterized by a major drop in nuclear generation. For instance, nuclear energy only accounted for 34% of Belgium's 2018 energy mix in contrast to 50% in 2017. Conversely, renewable energy generation (solely offshore/onshore wind and solar power here) grew by 18% in absolute terms in comparison with 2017. The year 2018 was marked by substantial imports of electricity from neighboring countries. Imports accounted for 22% of the energy mix in 2018 compared to just 8% in 2017.

Employment

Estimates in terms of employment in the energy sector are generally published by the European Commission and can be retrieved in country factsheet documents (e.g., https://ec.europa.eu/commission/sites/beta-political/files/swd-energy-union-key-indicators_en.pdf)

Status of the Market for Solar Buildings

Scope

The focus in Belgium is on very low-energy buildings, passive buildings and zero energy buildings. The obligation to reach the passive standard for new buildings has been an obligation in Brussels since 2015 and in the Walloon region since 2017.

In 2014, Belgium adopted the Belgian Energy Efficiency Action plan, according to the Directives 2006/32/EC and 2012/27/EU article 24.2 Annex XIV part 2.

 

R&D Activities

R&D Programmes

There is no national R&D programme for energy in general and for solar thermal energy in particular: the R&D programmes are developed by the Regions. Relevant authorities include the Brussels Institute for Environmental Management (IBGE-BIM) in the Brussels Capital Region; the Department for Energy and Sustainable Building from the Operational Directorate Generale (DG04) for Spatial Planning, Housing, Heritage and Heritage of the Walloon Public Service in Wallonia; the Flemish Energy Agency (VEA) in Flanders.

R&D Infrastructure

R&D Institutions
Institution Type of Institution Relevant Research Areas IEA SHC Involvement Website
SPWallonia Energy; Sustainable building 47,50 www.energie.wallonie.be
Bruxelles Environnement Environment; Energy www.ibge.be
Vlaamse EA Energy 42 www.energiesporen.be

Support Framework

Government Agencies Responsible for Solar Thermal, for Solar Building Activities

Relevant authorities at the regional level include: the Brussels Institute for Environmental Management (IBGE-BIM) in the Brussels Capital Region; the Department for Energy and Sustainable Building from the Operational Directorate Generale (DG04) for Spatial Planning, Housing, Heritage and Heritage of the Walloon Public Service in Wallonia; the Flemish Energy Agency (VEA) in Flanders.

Information Resources

National Solar Associations (industry and non-industry)

National Associations on Green/Solar/Sustainable Buildings

Most Important Media for Solar Thermal and Solar Buildings

https://www.creg.be/fr

- http://www.elia.be