Cost of Energy: Belgium does it again

For quite a while, Belgian politics have been in turmoil over the cost of energy. You see, over the last years the local government has been oversubsidizing solar panels. When this was realized, the decision was taken that every household should pay an additional EUR 100, to pay for the mistake. This tax is still heavily debated and the sitting minister even had to resign. You’d think that some caution would be taken, to sooth the electorate. Think again. Yesterday, energy distribution company VREG (owner of the power grid) announced that it intends to start charging for the use of the lines based on capacity, rather than usage. In plain English: you will be charged according to what you could use, not what you actually use. In addition, the cheaper nightly rates will be abolished. Such a policy once again hits the most heavily taxed consumer (the single people) hardest en de-incentivizes austerity … the environment also takes a hit. To justify this policy change, nothing less than sorcery is used in the argumentation. Hold on to your hats: by switching to higher rates based on capacity, energy consumption will be spread over the day, requiring less investments in the grid and therefore lowering the rates. By paying more we will end up paying less. Sure, that is going to happen. What does the minister assigned to Energy (Bart Tommelein) and his party (OpenVLD) tweet as a response? “This is part of the jurisdiction of the independent regulator, minister and government cannot intervene”. #shameful

http://www.standaard.be/cnt/dmf20160622_02351504

 

One Response to “ Cost of Energy: Belgium does it again ”

  1. Dear Mr di Glitterati,

    VREG is not the owner of the power or the distribution grid, but the regulator of electricity and gas markets in Flanders, Belgium. The proposal you are referring to, the switch from kWh-based to kW (capacity)-based grid tariffication is still under consultation and therefore no decision on this has been taken yet.
    However, the shift to capacity based tariffs makes sense in the rapidly changing electricity system, as evidenced by e.g. http://ieeexplore.ieee.org/document/6607294/ and http://www.eurelectric.org/media/80239/20130409_network-tariffs-paper_final_to_publish-2013-030-0409-01-e.pdf.
    The goal of the proposed shift is not to raise the grid tariffs, but simply to ensure a future-proof approach that ensure that all consumers (also prosumers with photo-voltaic panels) pay a fair contribution to the cost of the grid.
    Best regards, Dirk

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