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Wallonia reaches agreement on solar power fees

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Wallonia’s government on Saturday reached an agreement on accompanying measures for a grid fee charged to solar panel owners, Minister-President Elio Di Rupo’s office announced in a press release.

Under the agreement, the regional administration will implement accompanying measures, such as compensating solar energy producer-consumers (prosumers), for electricity transferred on the electricity network, for a five-year period, from 2020 to 2024 included.

Regional energy regulator CWAPE confirmed on Friday that the grid fee would take effect from 1 May. “Since the 31 December 2019 decree postponing it by four months has not been extended by the Government of Wallonia, the prosumer tariff must, by law, take effect on 1 May,” CWAPE President Stéphane Renier said.

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Wallonia’s coalition government had previously failed to agree on a new postponement of the fee CWAPE planned to impose on solar panel owners for using the network. However, the rainbow coalition, comprising the Parti Socialiste (PS), Mouvement Reformateur (MR) and the Ecologists, finally reached agreement on Saturday.

In its press release, the regional government said it would implement “accompanying measures” such as compensating prosumers for electricity transferred to the grid, between 2020 and 2024. “These measures are aimed at encouraging prosumers to save on energy” and consume what they produce, the Prime Minister’s Office explained.

Wallonia’s Government has asked CWAPE to identify, in collaboration with the managers of the region’s electricity grid, ways to apply the grid fee and the accompanying measures at the same time when billing prosumers.

It has also asked the regulator to set a grace period before enforcing the grid fee, “to enable simultaneity between the application of the fee and the related accompanying measures.”

The Brussels Times

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