New Energy Minister is a man with a plan

The new Flemish Energy Minister Bart Tommelein (liberal) has said that he hopes that Flemings’ will start investing in solar panels again as they now give a return without being subsidised. Mr Tommelein added that this is only way to bring down the level of the Flemish energy levy now plans for a power station that would have ran on biomass in Ghent (East Flanders).

Despite only having officially become a Minister in the Flemish Government on Wednesday, Mr Tommelein had already drawn up a clear plan for Flemish energy policy. He told VRT News that “It is important that we continue to invest in renewable energy sources and the cheapest and to my mind only way to achieve our climate goals is to invest in solar panels. Not only at people’s homes, but also at commercial premises and government buildings.”
Mr Tommelein added that investment in solar energy is the only way to make the Flemish Energy Levy fall.

"The biomass was already calculated in the levy. It will be a very different ball game, if we are able to succeed in reaching our climate change objectives without any further subsidies. Because of the level of debt incurred in the past, I can’t wave the levy away with a magic wand. However, I think that it is important than no further debts are created”.

"Better than a savings account"

But how with the Energy Minister be able to convince Flemings to invest in solar panels? “Companies and the government should play a leading role, so that people see that getting solar panels is a good thing. Of course it is an investment as it is no longer subsidised, but it remains a good investment. It is a better investment to put your money into solar panels than it is leaving in on a savings account”, Mr Tommelein said.

Although Mr Tommelein realises that energy is a challenging policy field, he believes that the climate change objectives can be attained if everyone pulls together.

"Let us have a good quality debate, the coalition and opposition together”, Mr Tommelien told VRT Radio 1.