The Flemish Government has recently enacted a Decree creating an obligation to cover a portion of the roof of certain high energy-consuming buildings with solar panels, accelerating the growth of solar energy (new provisions 6.7.1 – 6.7.10 Energy Decree).
Private buildings that consume more than 1 GWh electricity per year will have to cover their rooftop surface with solar panels of at least 12,5 Wp/m² roof surface by 30 June 2025; 18,75 Wp/m² roof surface by 2030; and 25 Wp/m² roof surface by 2035.
To lead by example, this obligation also applies to all government buildings if they consume more than 250 MWh electricity per year. This threshold will be 100 MWh by 2026.
The obligation is not applicable to all buildings. Certain buildings are exempted, as listed by the Ministerial Decree of 8 May 2023.
Alternatively, the obligation may be satisfied by installing the required number of solar panels on other sites of the owner located in the Flemish Region.
The Flemish Government intends to impose a fine (p. 18) if the obligation has not been met, but for this the Energy Decree must be amended first.
The Flemish rooftop strategy is part of a bigger move in the European Union towards using solar energy more as a source of energy (see also EU Solar Energy Strategy).