Electricity prices in Belgium rising: the nuclear industry must pay the price!

24 April 2011

In Brussels at the weekend, 2,000 demonstrators marked the 25th anniversary of the Chernobyl disaster and demanded the acceleration of the phase out of nuclear power in Belgium.

The event was organised by Friends of the Earth Flanders & Brussels, and the newly formed movement for climate and social justice ‘Climaxi’, amongst others.

The demonstration demanded that Electrabel pay the price for the transformation to a sustainable, renewable-based, economy.

 Electrabel is the former state monopoly electricity producer, and main operator of nuclear power plants in Belgium. The company currently makes hundreds of millions of euros profit each year by operating nuclear power plants, as well as through free allocation of EU-ETS emission trading permits.

At the same time, consumers of electricity, particularly those on low incomes who are forced to use budget metres, are paying the price for the switch to renewable energy. This is because the costs of so-called ‘green certificates’ are passed directly to consumers.

While individual households can receive subsidies and green certificates for fitting solar panels, this is really only an option for the higher income families. Additionally, businesses that are able to cover warehouse roofve with solar panels have made massive profits at the expense of the local community.

As the debate around the phase-out of nuclear power in Belgium intensifies, following the Fukushima disaster, Friends of the Earth Flanders & Brussels, and allies, will be continuing to build a movement that can push for social and ecological solutions to the climate crisis, and tackle the issue of energy security.

In Brussels at the weekend, 2,000 demonstrators marked the 25th anniversary of the Chernobyl disaster and demanded the acceleration of the phase out of nuclear power in Belgium.

The event was organised by Friends of the Earth Flanders & Brussels, and the newly formed movement for climate and social justice ‘Climaxi’, amongst others.

The demonstration demanded that Electrabel pay the price for the transformation to a sustainable, renewable-based, economy.

Electrabel is the former state monopoly electricity producer, and main operator of nuclear power plants in Belgium. The company currently makes hundreds of millions of euros profit each year by operating nuclear power plants, as well as through free allocation of EU-ETS emission trading permits.

At the same time, consumers of electricity, particularly those on low incomes who are forced to use budget metres, are paying the price for the switch to renewable energy. This is because the costs of so-called ‘green certificates’ are passed directly to consumers.

While individual households can receive subsidies and green certificates for fitting solar panels, this is really only an option for the higher income families. Additionally, businesses that are able to cover warehouse roofve with solar panels have made massive profits at the expense of the local community.

As the debate around the phase-out of nuclear power in Belgium intensifies, following the Fukushima disaster, Friends of the Earth Flanders & Brussels, and allies, will be continuing to build a movement that can push for social and ecological solutions to the climate crisis, and tackle the issue of energy security.