Opinion: Energy policy

POSTED: 02/27/12 3:50 PM

Did we see white smoke coming out of the government building? Is there really an energy policy, albeit a draft, that focuses on efficiency and on renewable energy resources? Wow, we did not see that one coming. We’re of course happy with the idea behind the policy; it is the right direction.

What we are wondering about is the execution. Minister Heyliger makes a statement in today’s newspaper that qualifies as hugely ambitious. By 2015, the minister said, 20 percent of our energy production should come from renewable resources, and only five years after that this ought to be 50 percent.

We do not have a copy of the draft energy policy – at least, not yet – so we do not know how the minister plans to achieve this lofty goal. We are now entering the third month of 2012, meaning that 2015 is only 33 months away.

We’ll give our minister a bit of leeway; after all, if he realizes his goal on December 30, 2015 he is still on target, but even 45 months seems an awfully short time.

Ah, but then we realized: everything in politics is flexible. Remember the stories about the landfill and how this would near the end of its lifecycle by 2009? We are not three years later and they are still trucking waste to the landfill.

All in all, we think that the minister’s energy policy is certainly interesting – also given the fact that he has already started on a personal level with wind energy – but we think that hitting the target as far as renewable energy resources is concerned will take a humongous effort.

The good thing is that any target date will at least put some pressure on the process to achieve this goal. Furthermore the draft policy will lead to public debate and that could generate positive ideas that may help our minister to get where he wants to go.

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