Belgium's energy minister embraces EU electricity market reform proposals

Belgian Federal Energy Minister Tinne Van der Straeten (Groen, Flemish Greens) welcomes the European Commission's proposals to reform the electricity market. "Solar and wind are volatile by nature, but it's interesting if you also have battery projects to balance everything out. In this sense, we welcome the Commission's proposals," the Minister's office commented.

The Commission is not redrawing the "basics" of the European electricity market and is not decoupling the formation of the electricity price from the gas price. But it is backing long-term contracts and investment in renewable energy to ensure price stability and prevent extreme prices.

The Belgian energy minister's office called it "an important first step in the right direction". The whole package will now be negotiated by the 27 member states and the European Parliament. The Commission hopes to reach an agreement as early as next winter.

Van der Straeten says the proposals are in line with Belgium's priorities. Her office points out that just last Friday she attended the opening of a battery park in Ruien, East Flanders, and that Belgium is committed to other renewable energy projects, such as offshore parks.

"But in the short term, these proposals will not solve the volatility of the market," said Van der Straeten. "The question is therefore whether the measures we adopted last year, such as the introduction of a gas price cap, the skimming of excess profits and the voluntary gas reduction, will be extended."


Belgian Federal Energy Minister Tinne Van der Straeten (Groen, Flemish Greens) © ​ BELGA PHOTO NICOLAS MAETERLINC

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