“War is changing the way we look at energy in a very radical way,” Prime Minister Alexandre de Croo said. Belgium must get rid of its “painful dependence” on fossil fuels from abroad. This is in part to reduce the exorbitant energy bill and “to give Russia fewer resources to finance that terrible war”.
Belgium has long argued about shutting down the reactors at Doyle and Tiang, close to the Dutch border. The current government coalition has decided to continue the “nuclear journey”, which has been planned for years, Flemish green crown jewel and Walloon Ecolo, and to deploy additional gas-fired power plants temporarily. But the partner in the coalition after the partner in the coalition and the ally after the partner changed his mind. The green limbs also succumbed to this.
Government parties have now agreed that they will try to extend the life of Doel 4 and Tihange 3, the youngest in the country, until 2035, according to Energy Minister Tinne Van der Straeten (Groen). In return, the Greens negotiated that Belgium invest an additional €1 billion in the transition to renewable energy. This would give it an “unprecedented acceleration”. Alternative gas-fired power plants will be built anyway, to ensure Belgium does not run out of electricity or see the price explode again.
It is not yet certain that the power plants will actually remain open. The government has not yet negotiated with Director Inge, who says it is too late for that. But according to experts, it is a financial problem.
The farewell to nuclear power is meeting with increasing resistance across Europe. The Netherlands and France, among other countries, want to build new nuclear power plants. Germany is one of the few remaining countries that appears to be resilient.
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