Growth of solar panels on private homes stagnates
Last year the number of private individuals installing solar panels on their roof went down significantly, (-12% compared to 2017). Reason for the spectacular decrease is the uncertainty about the smart electricity meters.
Smart use of electricity
With the new digital not-reversing meters, people are afraid that they will lose the unused electricity when they return the surplus to the electricity net. The government and the independent Flemish energy regulator, VREG, agreed to hang on to the principle of the reversing meters until 2020.
The smart electricity meter, however, perfectly fits in the plans of the Flemish government to increase the part of renewable energy substantially. The meter can guide families to use more electricity when the offer is abundant and price is low and to save energy when prices are up.
Goal for Flanders is to have a total capacity of solar panels producing 3.700 MW by 2020, today it is 2.730 MW. This means an extra investment of more than 500 MW this year and the years to come between 2021 and 2030.
VREG emphasizes that the smart meter will not turn out to be negative for the owners of solar panels. “The electricity bill only represents 40% of the costs for energy, the other part goes to legal obligations, energy premiums, public lighting…”, explains Dirk Van Evercooren, spokesman of VREG.
“So authorities have the necessary tools to make prices go down for everybody. Besides, it would be legally contested to treat people with smart meters differently depending on whether or not they have solar panels.”