Energy market 3 May 2022 • 5 minutes
The many commitments made by the Belgian Energy Pact in 2018, the release of the nucleary by 2025 is probably the most likely measure.
Behind this decision, the ambitious climate target imposed by Europe was to achieve the 100% renewable energy supply by 2050. A sceénario at the heart of the energy transition – tantored by its supporters, tanto contested by its detractors – which will determine for the future of the Belgian energy sector.
For the year 2017, 50% of the electricity produced in Belgium is of nucleary origin. This represents a little more than 40 TWH. This total amount of electricity produced must therefore be compensated for in the long term without nuclear power.
Depending on the manager of the Electric Transportation Network Elia, regardless of the proposed selection, the construction of new thermal power plants of carbon fossil fuels (gas, oil, coal) will be necessary to ensure the security of the supply, without strengthening Belgium’s energy dependency.
For Damien Ernst, energy specialist at the ULI, producers’ investment in these gas-fired power plants will have a significant financial and environmental footprint. For, in addition to an increase in the energy bill, the announced closure of power stations would result in the loss of many jobs.
At that time, can we expect to achieve the European targets for reducing greenhouse gas emissions, while ensuring security of energy supply and price stability in Belgium?
For fans of a nucleary exit by 2025, of which the representative and group leader Ecolo/Groen Jean-Marc Nollet, the answer is yes! And there is no shortage of arguments and alternatives:
Finally, we should not forget that:
The solution would therefore be to compensate a portion of the electricity that was missing from theimprovement in efficiency, by increased storage capacities (allowing to accommodate surplus production of plants, in particular) and by theincrease in renewable energies that will produce employment and ensure supply security.
According to a study released by the Minister of Energy Marie-Christine Marghem, the release of the nucleary would cost only 15€ htva per year and per memenage, starting in 2025. According to N-VA Bert Wollants, however, the average additional neck should be more than 50€ per year per metering.
Two theories contested by Ecolo, for whom these budget estimates overestimate the cost of alternatives, underestimate the cost of the extension of the reactors and do not take into account the economic cost of the nucleary risk.
For Jean-marc Nollet: ” a nuclear exit is necessary and possible in 2025 without any major impact on our greenhouse gas emissions, nor on invoice“. That would even be the least suitable solution. If it is necessary, of course, to implement effective policies and measures today!
On Thursday December 23 2021, the federal government, after a night of discussion and negotiation, has found an agreement on the release of the nucleary in Belgium. But what exactly does he say?
The agreement therefore stipulates that, by 2025, Belgium will have to do without its old reactors. To avoid the risk of blackout electricity, the alternative found would be to activate gas power plants, to Awirs (Flemalle, Liege province) and Vilvorde. The black dot of the folder? The refusal of the Vilvoorde plant construction permit by the Minister of Energy in Flanders Zuhal Demir (N-VA).
For once, government members postponed the final decision until March 15, 2022. In the meantime, policies will be able to propose new alternatives such as the installation of gas power stations at other sites. Although the final goal is to deactivate the seven reactors in the country, it is possible that the decision will be reviewed in the event of a non-agreement next spring.
However, Belgium does not completely turn its back on the nucleary. It does bring about the closure of old power stations but intends to invest EUR 100 million in the ‘nuclear of the future’ (i.e., thorium, a meteor that can be used as a fuel to produce electricity) and in new generation plants.
What if you also participated in the effort today by opting for a green energy provider that invests heavily in renewable energy?