Solid biomass in Belgium
In the strongly
regionalized state of Belgium
a distinction can be made between federal policy and regional policy regarding
renewable energy sources (RES). The incentive schemes for RES are most dominant
at the regional level, while on the federal level the RES policy is imposed in
more general terms. Attention for energy saving activities exists at both levels.
For electricity, the green certificate trading and quota system has been
implemented for both Flanders and Wallonia.
The certificates can be traded at regional level or at federal level. The three
regional energy agencies are: VIREG (Flemish Region), DGTRE (Walloon Region)
and IBGE (Region of Brussels Capital). The main renewable contribution in the
Belgian energy mix comes from combustible renewable biomass and waste sources.
In Flanders, generation from renewable sources
is expected to rise to 6% by 2010, being at 2% in 2004. In Wallonia,
the objective for 2010 is a raise to 8% at the horizon 2010. In both regions
there is a fast growing electricity generation coming from wind energy.
Brussels-Capital has, because of its limited surface and electricity generation
capacity, very limited renewable energy facilities, being mainly solar thermal
Renewable energy projections according to the National Renewable Energy Action Plan for Belgium
National Renewable Energy Action Plan (NREAP) for Belgium was submitted
in December 2010. The target according to Annex I of Directive
2009/28/EC is 13% for the year 2020 and the projected NREAP share in
that year exactly matches the target. According to the
projection, the most important contribution in the year 2020 is
expected from biomass (renewable heating and cooling) (2034 ktoe, 38%
of all renewable energy). Second important contribution is expected
from biomass (renewable electricity) (11.0 TWh or 949 ktoe, 18% of all
renewable energy). The third largest contribution is from wind power
(10.5 TWh or 901 ktoe, 17% of all renewable energy). Wind power
contributes with 4.3 GW (10.5 TWh). For solar photovoltaic the 2020
contribution is projected to be 1.3 GW (1.1 TWh). For solar thermal the
2020 contribution is projected to be 199 ktoe. The two most important
biofuels are projected to contribute 698 ktoe (biodiesel) and 91 ktoe
(bioethanol / bio-ETBE) by 2020. The renewable electricity production
from solid biomass amounts to 9.6 TWh (823 ktoe) and for biogas it is
expected to be 1.4 TWh (124 ktoe). The consumption of renewable heat is
expected to amount to 1947 ktoe for solid biomass and 55 ktoe for
Renewable heating, cooling and power: solid
three regions, a subsidy is available for private individuals from the Federal
Government for replacing a boiler with more environmental-friendly models,
including wood-burning boilers, low temperature boilers and micro-CHP units.
The subsidies are available for private individuals’ primary residences (owned
or rented). Expenditure on domestic installations of boilers in 2006 is
eligible for a tax reduction in the 2007 tax declaration. 40% of the investment
is tax deductible, up to a maximum of 1280 EUR for per home. For the enterprises
there exists also a deduction fixed in 13,5 % of the investment. In order to be
eligible for support, several conditions must be met: a registered installer
must perform the installation, Norms EN12809 and EN303-5 concerning conversion
efficiency should be met. Furthermore, the boiler’s useful capacity should be
at least 60% of its nominal rated power. Additionally, the system should be
suitable for wood or wood pellets fed by an automatic mechanism.
Below, the three main
regions in Belgium
are discussed consecutively.
On February 2006, Wallonia government adopted a modification of the Energy
Action Programme 2005-2007. As of March 2006, there are various incentives for
biomass installations. The use of biomass is promoted through a tax relief: the
investment costs can partly be deducted from the taxable income.
The producers of
certified green electricity receive from the CwaPE green certificates proportional
to their electricity production and the reduction of CO2 emissions regarding a
value reference for classic installations. The current correspondence for 1
green certificate is 456 kg of CO2 avoided. These certificates can be sold and
traded for 5 year from the date of issuing.
The fine that Belgian
electricity suppliers must pay to Wallonia’s energy authority for each ROC
missing at the end of each accounting period is 100€. Producers of renewable
electricity are assured a minimum price of 65€/ROC since Wallonia’s
energy authority will buy certificates at this price.
A similar certificate system
to Wallonia’s operates in Flanders, though
ROCs are not linked to avoided CO2 emissions but to each unit of renewable
energy produced. Certificates are granted by the federal regulator (CREG). The
manager of the network is obliged to buy the green electricity to the producer
at a minimum price fixed according to the technology used. The Green
Certificates are based on the accreditation of the energy produced via a
guarantee of origin (Royal Decree 16/07/2002). The Flemish energy authority
charges for missing ROCs at 125€/MWh.
certificate system several technical changes have occurred during 2007. Formerly,
the obligation for renewable electricity was put at the distribution companies.
In this way, industrial clients weren’t touched by the obligation system. From
2007 onwards, they have to fulfill the quota as well.
The average market
price for certificates remained relatively stable during 2007 compared to
previous years: between 108 and 110 euro.
In February 2008 the
green power quotum was defined by VREG at 4,90% (2.076.119 certificates after
adjustments). Previously this was 3.00%. The new quotum resulted in a shortage
of almost 15 thousand certificates, equal to a fine of in total more than 45
No certificate system. Biomass is not the focus technology of the Brussels region.
Future programme changes expected
the target for renewable electricity after 2010 is under debate.
EurObserv’ER Database, 2007
Reguleringsinstantie voor de Elektriciteits- en Gasmarkt (VREG), Marktrapport: de Vlaamse energiemarkt in
2007, (sourced August 2008)
The National Renewable Energy Action Plans (NREAPs) are all published on the Transparency Platform on Renewable Energy: http://ec.europa.eu/energy/renewables/transparency_platform/action_plan_en.htm (sourced July - December 2010)
Renewable Energy Projections as Published in the National Renewable Energy Action Plans of the European Member States, http://www.ecn.nl/nreap (sourced December 2010)
Interactive EurObserv’ER Database
Last update: December 2010
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