‘Extremely difficult to keep nuclear power plants open after 2020’
“If we want to keep the existing nuclear power plants open after 2020, it is time for action,” warns the CEO of Electrabel, Philippe Van Troeye, in a press release, in which he presents the 2020 plans for the company.
As of 2021, it will become very difficult to keep them open due to technical reasons and to get the necessary permits. The power plants have to be submitted to European public investigation into their environmental effects. And that takes time. Electrabel also needs to be able to keep the right staff aboard to guide the continuation of the activities.
The prolongation process of the three nuclear power plants already started some years ago. Electrabel, however, is still working on the investments that were imposed at that time as the condition to stay operational. The most significant investments will only be finished this year. It also means that the three plants will be closed for some time.
Offshore wind energy
In expectation of a possible decision of a new government about the future of the plants, Electrabel goes all out for the development of its renewable energy production. The top priority in this is wind energy. Today, the company has a renewable energy capacity of 721 megawatts, of which 372 MW solar energy. Van Troeye aims at a strong development of its offshore wind energy production.
Due to the lack of political support, Electrabel no longer invests in its large biomass plants. In 2022, the last on, Max Green in Ghent, will close the doors.