In 2050, Ecolo wants energy production to be 100% from renewable energy sources in Belgium. To succeed in this energy transition mission, the Greens are focusing on citizen involvement and local community links. “The energy sustainability objective, the transition to 100% renewables is not a technological issue.” It is a genuine society project.” This explanation came from the Co-president Patrick Dupriez, during a conference organised in the city of Eupen.
Opting for a self-sustainable energy generation has multiple implications. The Greens consider that it is clean in that it reduces emissions, creates jobs and social benefits and is a geopolitical stability factor.
The Greens pointed out during the conference that, each year Belgium has been importing 12 billion euros of fossil fuel and recording 13,000 deaths due to air pollution.
Ecolo suggests focusing on three particular measures.
It recommends supporting the development of energy cooperatives through state guarantee of shares invested (by firing up the savings accounts model).
There should also be a legislative change to ensure that joint investments by citizens and communes are no longer regarded as debt.
The Greens also wish to create local energy firms at district, village or catchment area level.
Such firms will be responsible for accelerating the implementation of the sustainable energy transition, enjoying fiscal support with VAT of 6%, whilst they would have access to certain investment funds.
Ecolo does not wish to treat the major energy players in the market as if they were simply an energy waste by-product; they have a key role. It simply considers that the state has the duty steer them towards 100% renewable energy sources.
Ecolo recommends concluding branch agreements. These would link these organisations together, creating an independent steering committee bringing all interested parties together, guaranteeing access to networks and developing public storage capability.
Ecolo says that 150.000 to 240.000 jobs may yet be created. “In the future, there will be ‘good jobs’, ‘green jobs’, ‘great jobs,’” thus responding to the Prime Minister, Charles Michel’s, incessant call for “Jobs, jobs, jobs!”