Country Report - Belgium

Status of Solar Heating/Cooling and Solar Buildings - 2013

Status of the Market for Solar Thermal Systems

Market Size and Trends

The total market in Belgium has been slowly growing again since 2010, but differently in Flanders than in Wallonia.
In Flanders (65% of the market), a subsidy system (550€/m² or a maximum of 2.750€) stimulated the use of small systems. In Wallonia (30% of the market), the subsidy system is only present for large systems. Wallonia ended the subsidies for small systems in 2012.

In 2012 more than 60.000 m² of solar thermal collectors where installed. Totally till 2012, the market size represents 0,043 m²/hab.

Typical Applications and Products

The main application is domestic hot water; the systems are mainly pumped systems.

For example from January to December 2012, with 4.6 m² of solar collectors, a tank of 300 l, a family of 4 persons, with a daily need of 140 l at 50°C, the complete autonomy was reach during 18 weeks; with a daily need of 80 l, the complete autonomy was reach during 33 weeks.

Main Market Drivers

The main market drivers are the building regulation for new buildings: the regulation requires a certain performance level and solar water heaters help to reach the requirement. But the main sales in existing buildings are with owners who specifically chose a solar water heater for environment reasons.

Currently, the solar hot water systems are in competition with PV systems coupled with a heat pump.


Estimates from the trade associations, for the total renewable energy sector, comes to 21000 jobs in 2011, which represents 2640 M € of business.

Status of the Market for Solar Buildings


The focus in Belgium is a very low-energy buildings, passive buildings and zero energy buildings. The obligation to reach the passive standard for new buildings will be an obligation in Brussels in 2015 and in the Walloon region in 2017.

R&D Activities

R&D Programmes

There is no national R&D programme for energy in general and for solar thermal energy in particular: the R&d programmes are developed by the Regions.

R&D Infrastructure

R&D Institutions
Institution Type of Institution Relevant Research Areas IEA SHC Involvement Website
SPWallonia Energy; Sustainable building 47,50
Bruxelles Environnement Environment; Energy
Vlaamse EA Energy 42

Information Resources

National Solar Associations (industry and non-industry)

National Associations on Green/Solar/Sustainable Buildings