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Belgium will not reach its renewable energy goal for 2020

Credit: Belga

Belgium will not achieve its green energy objectives in 2020, Federal Energy Minister Tinne Van der Straeten said Tuesday in her policy brief to a House committee.

The country’s entities were to arrive together at a 13% share of renewable energy, but Flanders has already made it known that it will not honour its share.

The share of renewable energy in energy production is capped at 11.68%, with the largest deficit in Flanders (a shortfall of 1,800 GigaWatt hours, compared with 1,550 GWh for the federal government and 150 GWh for Brussels, while Wallonia has a surplus of 1,465 GWh).

The difference has to be “bought” in statistics in the other European countries that produce enough renewable energy. For the federal government, the cost could amount to €31 million. Flanders decided in October to buy €22.5 million of surplus from Denmark.

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The previous Energy Minister, Marie-Christine Marghem, hoped at the beginning of this year that the objective could still be achieved, notably through the completion of wind farms.

“The legacy of the previous government is costing us dearly. Through an energy policy without much conviction and permanent insecurity, we have not invested enough in the production of green electricity. I am now putting an end to this indecision,” Van der Straeten said.

“Short-sightedness is what got us into this situation, vision and expertise will get us back on track. The direction is clear now, which means relief for green power investors. Finally, there is certainty.”

The government intends to invest primarily in offshore wind energy – under federal jurisdiction – in order to increase the percentages quickly.

Marghem defended her policy by saying that the new wind turbines in the North Sea will be the fruit of investments made in past years, she pointed out, and should make it possible to achieve the objectives from 2021 onwards.

The former minister pointed to the responsibility of Flanders and its too low proportion of renewable energy in relation to its consumption.

The N-VA, which is in power in the north of the country, sees little difference between the policy of the current minister and that of the previous government.

“The difference I see is that you clearly state that you confirm the move away from nuclear power. That means that you also make the choice to buy a large bid in the capacity (remuneration) mechanism.” said MP Bert Wollants.

The Brussels Times

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