Paul Furlan, Walloon Energy minister, is to meet with several European leaders to try and sell surplus renewable energy production, as its financial conversion is currently blocked by an internal feud in Belgium over sharing the burden of European targets and the income from auctions (“burden sharing”), he announced at the Walloon parliament commission on Tuesday, on the occasion of a debate on budget adjustment. “I am now aware that other countries – unable to meet their targets, editor’s note – are keen to buy any surplus from Wallonia. My objective is to meet with a number of political leaders from these countries to see if these statistics can be cashed in within Europe instead of just inside Belgium,” explained the Socialist minister, who is about to attend a preliminary meeting in Lyons ahead of the Paris climate conference next December. “This may help us to resolve the deadlock,” in a case where federal and 3 regional governments have been at loggerheads since 2006.
Mr. Furlan announced new Walloon targets for renewable energy production a few weeks ago, scaled down compared to the previous government’s targets which were deemed unreasonable. An expert’s report suggested a compromise aiming for 12.5% of energy production from renewable sources in 2020, as part of the gross end consumption in Wallonia. The government opted for a target of 13%, plus offshore energy.
It seems however that Wallonia could theoretically accept 12.5% in the intra-Belgian negotiation. But the government aims to keep its sights set high, and a 13% target gives a 0.5% leeway, amounting to 600 million euros over 20 years, which, were they to be left unconverted, would burden Walloon consumers, both households and businesses.