Energy Minister Tine van der Straiten (Green) has asked the National Bank to develop a proposal for crisis contributions from the energy sector. This mainly refers to the “excessive profits” that Engy Elektrabel is making due to high energy prices. “There is no justification for achieving record profits while a record number of people cannot pay their bills,” the minister said.
Since the sharp rise in energy prices, excess profits in the energy sector have been in the crosshairs more than once. At the request of Minister Van der Straeten, CREG has obtained legal advice to examine how to increase the distribution’s contribution to the sector. This turned out to be no easy task. For example, far-reaching legal interventions may be necessary, without the possibility of avoiding compensation or legal action.
Under the current scheme, Engie Electrabel is almost completely exempted from Doel 1, 2 and Tihange 1, except for the €20 million for the Power Transmission Fund. For other nuclear power plants, there is a distribution contribution of 38 percent of profits. According to an estimate from CREG, this distribution contribution for 2022-2024 will be between €529.68 million and €683.92 million.
“No one should enrich themselves from the crisis”
This is not enough for Minister van der Straiten. And she repeated: “No one should enrich himself from the crisis.” “The federal government has fully returned the additional income to citizens by lowering the value-added tax to 6 percent and expanding the social rate. It is clear that Engy Elektrabel is benefiting from the unprecedented rise in energy prices. If the company makes excessive profits at the expense of the wallets of citizens who are already suffering tremendously from The repercussions of the crisis and the economy, this is unacceptable.”
So I asked the National Bank to draw up a proposal to contribute to the crises, with the question of the conditions that it must fulfill. “Excessive profits in strategic sectors such as energy pose a real danger to our economy and country. The Doel 1, Doel 2 and Tihange 1 nuclear power plants are no longer justified, but they are exempt from the distribution contribution,” concludes Van Streets.
Here’s what the federal government decided last month about (postponing) the phase-out of nuclear weapons:
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