Municipalities can participate in Luminus’ wind turbine projects
On Monday, energy provider Luminus and Zefier, a communal holding participating in environmentally friendly energy production, have created Zo-Fier, a common subsidiary that will focus on developing, constructing, and exploiting projects for renewable energy in the 168 municipalities Zefier is active in. Luminus has a 55% participation in Zo-Fier, Zefier 45%.
The main goal is to put up projects around renewable energy, involve people living in the neighborhood, and increase public support through this citizen’s cooperation. Wind turbines are not popular in Flanders, and plans for them often lead to public protest.
Last year, hardly 31 new wind turbines (82 MW) were constructed. Zefier is the largest indirect citizen’s cooperation, with 168 municipalities participating, representing 4,2 million inhabitants or 65% of the Flemish population.
“To build up projects around renewable energy, we need authorities and citizens. Thanks to Zo-Fier, we can invite them to participate and strengthen our local anchoring,” Luminus CEO Grégoire Dallemagne says in Luminus’ press release.
Zo-Fier’s first renewable energy project will be a windmill in Eeklo. The city will participate 45% in the project, Luminus 55%. “Eeklo has always been a pioneer when it comes to renewable energy,” says Christophe De Waele, first Alderman in Eeklo.
“With the 23 wind turbines on our territory, we’re an example for other cities and municipalities. Thanks to Luminus, Zefier, and the commitment of local authorities, every inhabitant can be ‘Zo-Fier’ (so proud) to become co-owner of a wind turbine in his own back yard.”
Not (fast) enough
Zefier also emphasizes the advantages for municipalities when they participate in the project. “Return can be reinvested in cities or municipalities, benefiting climate and citizens.”
Today, Flanders has 573 wind turbines, and in optimal circumstances, they produce slightly more energy (1 360 MW) than a nuclear power plant. The goal is to achieve 2 500 MW by 2030, but this goal will never be met at the actual pace. The company already has 234 wind turbines (588 MW) to provide 319 000 households, but the idea is to build more.
26% of renewable energy sources
Luminus delivers electricity, gas, and energy services to residential and professional customers, with a market share of about 20%. The company is already investing in the production of renewable energy for more than 60 years. Today, more than 26% of its energy production is coming from renewable energy sources in Belgium.