Flanders: Solar panel premiums halved

Flanders: Solar panel premiums halved
Credit: Belga

The premiums for solar panels will be halved next year despite the major supply problems delaying installations, according to Flemish Energy Minister Zuhal Demir (Nieuw-Vlaamse Alliantie, N-VA).

Anyone who installs solar panels this year and has them inspected by 31 December can still receive a premium of up to €1,500. From 1 January 2023, the premium will be reduced to €750, Ms. Demir said on Wednesday in the Flemish Parliament in response to a question from Robrecht Bothuyne (Christen Democratisch en Vlaams, CD&V).

Bothuyne said this was bad policy because solar panels are the fastest path to a lower energy bill, and many people are still making an effort to install them this year, but the waiting times have become very long.

The wait can take "up to eight months for inverters and up to four months for panels," Bothuyne said on Wednesday. "Halving [the premium] on 1 January would be particularly unfair to families who placed an order in the year in which the premium was foreseen."

However, Minister Demir does not want to switch to a system in which the date on the order form is used to determine the premium, because, according to her, fraud was committed at the time of the green energy certificates.

"We have the lists of firms that cheated at the time," she said. The decision to halve the premium from 1 January is therefore maintained. "We are phasing it out because we don't want to be over-subsidising," said Demir. "Experts say the premiums are no longer necessary for profitability."

"It has also been communicated very clearly that the inspection date determines the amount of the premium," she added.

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