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Ice rink will grace this year’s Winter Wonders in Brussels despite energy crisis

Brussels - Christmas market ice rink - Belga
19:21 06/10/2022

Brussels city council  has decided to go ahead with the planned ice rink in Place De Brouckère at this year’s Christmas festivities, Winter Wonders, according to culture and major events alderwoman Delphine Houba (PS), reports RTBF.

During a city council meeting, Bianca Debaets (CD&V) questioned the alderwoman about the energy-saving measures to be put in place in the city-centre for the end-of-year festivities.

Houba responded that the city of Brussels hadn’t waited for the energy crisis to break out to now implement measures in favour of sustainable development. Consideration had already been given to the event, which attracts hundreds of thousands of people every year.

Measures in place include LED lighting, terraces banned from using heaters and the use of disposable cutlery.

However, according to Debaets, an average-sized ice rink would use around 65,000 kw/h of electricity to stay cool during this period, in addition to the CO2 emissions released into the atmosphere.

Due to this massive consumption of electricity, councillor Wauters strongly suggested that the ice rink should be replaced by a roller-skating rink, like the city of Gent.

Alderwoman Houba, in turn, suggested that energy consumption would be reduced by covering the ice rink to protect it from the sun.

In Wallonia, several cities have already renounced plans to install an ice rink at their Christmas markets. But Charleroi and Liège, as well as Antwerp, plan to maintain them.

Photo: Ice rink at Brussels Christmas market © Belga/Jacques Collet

Written by Louis Kernoa-Pascoe