Antwerp votes down fusion of green energy utilities
Flanders’ energy minister promises that the fusion of the region’s green energy intercommunals is just a matter of time, despite Antwerp province’s decision
Fewer board members
A few month ago, the government of Flanders approved a proposal to reform intercommunals – utility providers that are owned and run by several cities and towns together. The plan is to merge the energy intercommunals into one for the whole of Flanders.
According to Tommelein, this would be economically advantageous in more ways than one. It would, for example, drastically cut the number of posts held on the boards of the intercommunals. These posts are usually held by members of city councils, who are paid significant fees.
The plan also included investment intercommunals, which the government wants to merge and bring on the market to allow members of the public to take part. IKA is one of six investment intercommunals that was meant to its green energy holdings – in wind turbine parks and solar projects – into the new energy structure, called Zephyr.
But IKA declined because, according to reports, municipal representatives were critical of the government’s top-down approach. It has also been cited that key documents were supplied only three days before the vote.
Four of the six energy intercommunals have already approved the Zephyr structure, according to Tommelein. “The Flemish energy holding company will certainly happen,” he said. “But I seriously regret that IKA does not see the importance of a green energy merger and allows its own interests to come first.”
new wind turbines created in Flanders in 2013
million kilowattage of green energy in 2012
percentage of green energy used in Flanders in 2012