Price of electricity and support mechanisms

This LAP analyses:
• The existing support mechanisms for stationary fuel cells (micro-CHP),
• The legal treatment of FC micro-CHP in comparison with other types of cogenerations and solar PV plants,
• The administrative steps necessary to benefit from the support mechanisms.


Does the use of a FC benefit from a support mechanism be it a general support for cogeneration, for self-consumption of electricity or a specific measure for stationary FC.

Pan-European Assessment:

The FC micro-CHP systems must compete with well-established technologies and therefore a non-discriminatory and technology open policy and legal frameworks at EU and national level are needed in order to overcome the market roll-out phase. The residential stationary fuel cells working on natural gas have to be treated in a same way as any other high-efficiency micro-cogeneration units. In case FC micro-CHP systems operate on green gases incl. hydrogen, they have to get the same preferential treatment as power units generating electricity from renewable sources.
The overview of the national policies and funding schemas reveals significant differences in commitment and support for FC micro-CHP systems among the partner countries.

The most of them do not provide any support mechanisms for FC-micro CHP systems. The existing support measures in the rest of the countries are very fragmented and unlikely to contribute substantially to the mass deployment of the residential stationary fuel cells. The most commonly used support measures available for all types of cogeneration units are feed-in tariffs, CAPEX support and incentives for electricity self-production.
Is it a barrier?
Type of Barrier
Economic barriers
Assessment Severity
Incentives to stimulate installation of Fuel cell based CHP. No specific incentive for FC based CHP will lead to slower adaptation in the market.
But incentives for CHP are interesting in general, due to certificates and the fact that taxes on natural gas are much lower than on electricity in Flanders.


Question 1 Does the FC benefit from this form of support:: a - feed-in tariff
a - CHP certificates from the Flemish government exist for all CHP types, not specific for FC versions (one certificate has a value around 30€ /MWh); there is no limitation on the amount of hours for which CHP certificates can be received. In the case of a bio–CHP, CHP certificates can be combined with green electricity certificates for the produced green electricity. Green electricity certificates are only issued for installations > 10kW. Smaller installations make use of the system of the “reversal of the electricity counter”, cfr f. The network operator is obliged to buy the green certificates..
Question 1 Does the FC benefit from this form of support:: b - feed-in premium
b - No
Question 1 Does the FC benefit from this form of support:: c - quota obligation and certification scheme
c - No
Question 1 Does the FC benefit from this form of support:: d - CAPEX support
d - No
Question 1 Does the FC benefit from this form of support:: e - tax incentives
e - No
Question 1 Does the FC benefit from this form of support:: f - incentives to self-production (net-metering)
f - For small household installations (< 10kW), the injected electricity is rewarded by a reversal of the electricity counter such that the actual revenue for the injected electricity is a sum of the electricity price + the grid fees and taxes. This means that the value of the injected electricity is equal to the value of the purchased electricity, i.e. electricity + grid costs.
Question 1 Does the FC benefit from this form of support:: g - others
g - Since Jan 2018 there is an investment support (max 30% of costs) for installations smaller than 10kVA.
Question 2 Techno comparison: a - FC benefit from specific treatment?
a - no
Question 2 Techno comparison: b - FC benefit same treatment cogeneration techno?
b - yes
Question 2 Techno comparison: c - FC benefit same treatment as solar PV (and other means of self-production of electricity)?
c - yes, green electricity certificates if the FC works on a renewable source (bio–gas or green hydrogen in the future)
Question 2 Techno comparison: d - Explain how Stationary FC support (or absence of support) compare with the comparison technology identified above.
d - CHP and green electricity certificates as is valid for cogeneration and PV.
Question 3 Explain here the administrative steps necessary to benefit from the support mechanism(s)
For the investment support: Since the type of installation should be approved to get the support, the registration of the installation should be done first. Once the type is aknowledgded, the form for investment support can be submitted. For the CHP certificates: request should be done in a template document in "Expertbase", an application to manage the of the Flemish Energy Agency to manage all CHP and green power dossiers. . If the installation can reveive both CHP and Green electricity certificates, two request forms should be submitted.

National legislation:

EU Legislation:

  • Directive 2012/27/EU of the European Parliament and of the Council of 25 October 2012 on energy efficiency
    This Directive establishes a common framework of measures for the promotion of energy efficiency within the Union in order to ensure the achievement of the Union’s 2020 20 % headline target on energy efficiency and to pave the way for further energy efficiency improvements beyond that date.

    It lays down rules designed to remove barriers in the energy market and overcome market failures that impede efficiency in the supply and use of energy and provides for the establishment of indicative national energy efficiency targets for 2020.