Energy in Belgium

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Nuclear power plant near Doel
Wind turbine
This article is about Energy in Belgium. For Electricity in Belgium, see Electricity sector in Belgium.

Energy in Belgium describes energy and electricity production, consumption and import in Belgium.

It is governed by the energy policy of Belgium, which is split over several levels of government. For example the regional level is responsible for awarding green certificates (except for offshore wind parks) and the national level for anything concerning nuclear power. As a member country of the European Union Belgium also complies to its energy policy.

Overview[edit]

Energy in Belgium[1]
Capita Prim. energy Production Import Electricity CO2-emission
Million TWh TWh TWh TWh Mt
2004 10.4 671 157 605 89 116
2007 10.6 663 167 603 92 106
2008 10.7 681 169 656 91 111
2009 10.8 665 178 577 85 101
2012 11.0 687 212 575 89 109
Change 2004-09 3.6  % -0.8 % 13.2 % -4.7 % -4.5  % -13.2  %
Mtoe = 11.63 TWh. Prim. energy includes energy losses that are 2/3 for nuclear power[2]

Primary energy consumption[edit]

Electricity imports/exports

Primary energy is the amount of extractable energy present in fuels as they are found in nature. It is often expressed in tonnes of oil equivalent (toe) or watt-hour (Wh). Unless stated otherwise the lower heating value is used in the remainder of this text. A portion of primary energy is converted into other forms before it is used, depending on the energy conversion efficiency of the installation and method employed this number differs significantly from the final energy as consumed by end users.

Gross primary energy by source(Mtoe)[3][4]
Coal Oil Natural gas Nuclear Renewable &

waste-to-energy

Other (electricity

import/export)

Total
2006 5.165 23.782 15.044 12.154 2.293 +0.960 59.398
2007 4.612 23.073 14.969 12.566 2.917 +0.682 58.819
2008 4.713 24.882 14.879 11.873 2.347 +1.027 59.721
2009 3.257 24.615 15.153 12.304 2.706 −0.021 58.014
2010 3.394 25.880 17.006 12.492 2.872 +0.260 61.940
share in 2010 5.48% 41.8% 27.5% 20.2% 4.64% 0.42%

Production[edit]

Closed coal mine in Belgium

In recent years own production is about 25%. However this is mostly due to nuclear power generation, which by convention is counted as domestic production despite the uranium being imported. Renewable energy sources account for the rest of own production.[3]

Historically, up until 1992, coal was mined in Belgium. Since 2000 the quantities of Coalbed methane have been researched.[5] These show that a concession of Limburgse Reconversie Maatschappij would contain 7 billion cubic meters of mine gas. In 2012 a deal was made with the Australian Dart Energy to investigate the practical extraction of this mine gas.[6]

Import[edit]

In 2010, crude oil was imported mainly from Russia (44%), and OPEC countries (23%). Norway was the largest (37%) supplier of natural gas followed by The Netherlands (29%). While 39% of coal was imported from the United States and 22% from Australia.[3]

Energy carrier conversions[edit]

Oil refining[edit]

At the end of 2011 Belgium had a distillation capacity 41 Mt. That year 72% of the capacity was used. [7]

Electricity[edit]

Electricity generation

Electrabel is main producer of electricity, followed by EDF Luminus.

With the exception of 2009 Belgium has been a net importer in recent years.

Short term trading is done via the Belpex energy exchange, which is now part of APX-ENDEX. The Belgian transmission grid, operated by Elia System Operator, has a central position in the Synchronous grid of Continental Europe. This allows Belgium to trade electricity with its neighbours. Though currently there are only physical connections with the Netherlands and France. Direct links with Germany(Alegro) and The United Kingdom(Nemo) are planned. Currently a maximum of 3500 MW can be imported.[8] In comparison the net installed generation capacity in Belgium is estimated to be 19,627 MW[9]

In 2010, Belgium produced 95 TWh of electricity. After subtraction of the electricity used in the production process and losses and addition of the net import 84 TWh was consumed by end users.[3]

According to the GEMIX report the potential of renewable energy sources is 17 TWh per year.[10] Edora, the union of renewable energy producers in Wallonia refers to studies claiming that 7.8 TWh may come from renewable sources in 2015.[11] In 2000, renewable energy (including biomass) was used for producing 0.95% of the 78.85 TWh of electricity produced domestically[12] In 2011 wind and solar power generated 3.8 TWh.[9]

Nuclear power[edit]

Nuclear power typically contributes between 50% and 60% of the electricity produced domestically(50.4% in 2010[3]).

Belgium has two nuclear power plants:

By law[13] the nuclear power plants are to be phased-out. The first reactors are scheduled to be taken out of service in 2014, the last ones by 2025. It is widely assumed that the government will replace that law.

Two reactors are scheduled to be shut down by 2015. The lifetime of one old reactor has been extended through to 2025.

Fossil fuels[edit]

The use of coal in thermal power plants has been decreasing, in 2000 it was still used to produce 14.25% of electricity,[12] by 2006 this had dropped to about 10%. In 2010 it was down to 6.3%.[3] The conventional coal units of the thermal power plants in Mol and Kallo were closed.[14] Oil is also playing an increasingly less prominent role in 2010 it accounted only for 0.4% of gross electricity production.

This reduction is mostly compensated by a rise in popularity of natural gas. Where in 2000 gas only accounted for 23% it was up to 33%(including blast furnace gas) of gross electricity generated in 2010.[3][12] Natural gas power plants are less polluting and have a short start-up time,

Fluxys is the main operator in natural gas transmission.

Several power stations use a combined cycle including: Drogenbos, Amercoeur, Tessenderlo. Building permits are processed for plants in Seneffe and Visé.

Wind power[edit]

Main article: Wind power in Belgium

At the start of 2012, there were 498 operational wind turbines in Belgium, with a capacity of 1080 MW.[15] The amount of electricity generated from wind energy has surpassed 2 TWh per year.[16]

On Sunday 6 February 2011, 12% of the consumed electricity was generated by wind turbines. Due to high winds. [16]

There are seven large-scale offshore wind farm projects. Thorntonbank Wind Farm (325 MW, of which 215 MW is installed) and Belwind Wind Farm (330 MW) are operational. The other five are in various stages of planning.

EU and Belgium Wind Energy Capacity (MW)[17][18][19][20]
No Country 2012 2011 2010 2009 2008 2007 2006 2005 2004 2003 2002 2001 2000 1999 1998
EU-27 105,696 93,957 84,074 74,767 64,712 56,517 48,069 40,511 34,383 28,599 23,159 17,315 12,887 9,678 6,453
15 Belgium 1,375 1,078 911 563 415 287 194 167 96 68 35 32 13 6 6

Solar power[edit]

The exploitation of Solar power is on the rise in Belgium. In 2011 the installed capacity expanded to almost 2 GWp, nearly all of it was grid connected. Belgium's 1812 MWp of photovoltaics produced an estimated 1282 GWh of electricity in 2011.[21]

Year Photovoltaics CSP
MWp GWh MWp GWh
2008 70.9
2009 574 488
2010 787 560
2011 1812 1282

Source:[21][22][23]

Biomass and waste[edit]

In 2009, biomass and biogas were used to generate 3.5 TWh or 3.8% of gross domestic electricity production.[4]

In 2010 5.07 million tonnes of waste was produced in Belgium. Of which 1.75 Mt was incinerated. Nearly always (99.8% of the time) energy was recovered during incineration. Non renewable waste was used for producing 1.4% of the gross domestic electricity production. 1.9 Mt was recycled and 1 Mt was composted or fermented, only 0.062 Mt was dumped.[24] Ten years earlier this was only 0.71%.[12]

Hydroelectric power[edit]

Belgium has two pumped storage hydroelectric power stations: Coo-Trois-Ponts (1164 MW) and Plate-Taille (143 MW). Pumped storage stations are a net consumer of electricity, but they contributed 1.4% to the gross electricity production in 2010.[3]

Despite the limited potential there are also a number of stations generating hydroelectric power. With a combined capacity of about 100 MW. Contributing 0.3% of gross domestic production in 2010.[3]

Almost all of this capacity is realised in the Walloon Region. Even though hydroelectric power was used extensively in Flanders prior to the industrial revolution, there are no rivers where it can be generated on a large scale.[25] The region's 15 installations have a combined capacity just shy of 1 MW (994 kW).[26]

Final energy consumption[edit]

Final energy consumption by sector (2010)

In 2010 the largest share (34%) of final energy was for domestic use (this includes: households, service sector, commerce, and agriculture). Transport and industrial sector both consumed about a quarter. Fossil fuels are also used as raw material in several manufacturing processes, this non-energetic use accounts for the remainder of the final energy.[3]

A more detailed picture of the energy and type of fuel used by various activities is given in the table below.

final energy by activity(ktoe)[4]
Electricity Natural gas Coal Oil Renewable Heat Total Share of final energy
Domestic usage (2009)
Households 1738 3322 264 2756 231 13 8324 20.2%
Commerce and services 1847 1728 952 9 69 4605 11.2%
Agriculture 88 235 433 35 25 816 2.0%
Other 9 9 46 64 0.2%
Industrial usage (2009)
Chemical 746 1979 13 149 18 370 3275 7.9%
Iron and steel 447 678 578 11 1714 4.2%
Non metal minerals 168 290 202 269 94 1023 2.5%
Food/beverage/tobacco 400 531 56 51 18 30 1086 2.6%
Printing/paper pulp 205 148 33 15 307 50 758 1.8%
Construction 110 197 63 3 370 0.9%
Non ferro metals 114 96 22 111 343 0.8%
Machinery 151 66 2 17 2 238 0.6%
Textile and leather 108 97 3 1 3 212 0.5%
Transportation items 87 92 4 183 0.4%
Wood 67 9 103 179 0.4%
Extractive industries 54 11 65 0.2%
Other 152 42 6 218 14 432 1.0%
Transport usage (2009)
Road 8881 231 9112 22.1%
Air 1295 1295 3.1%
Rail 151 35 186 0.5%
Inland navigation 165 165 0.4%
Total final usage (2010)[3]
Absolute 2010 7163 11960 1363 21746 1156 640 44028
Share 2010 16.3% 27.2% 3.1% 49.4% 2.6% 1.5% 100%

Brussels-Capital Region[edit]

In the Brussels-Capital Region, the electricity and natural gas net are operated by Sibelga. In 2011, the natural gas consumption was 10,480 GWh and the electricity consumption was 5,087 GWh.[27]

Sibelga invests in combined heat and power (CHP) installations for which it receives green certificates. In 2011 its eleven installations had a combined capacity of 17.8 MWe and 19.7 MWth and generated 50.5 GWh of electricity.[27]

The Region of Brussels-Capital also encourages MicroCHP[28] and implemented the European directive of 2002/91/CE on Energy Performance of Buildings.

Corporations[edit]

The companies Umicore, BASF, Solvay, Duferco, Tessenderlo Chemie, ArcelorMittal, and Air Liquide together account for about 15% of the total electricity consumption of Belgium in 2006.[29]

Greenhouse gas emissions[edit]

In 1990, the greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions were 146.9 million tons of CO
2
equivalent
(Mt CO
2
eq), whose 88 millions tons came from the Flemish Region, 54.8 from the Walloon Region and 4 Mt from the Brussels-capital Region.[30]

Being a member of the European Union, Belgium, applied the European Union Emission Trading Scheme set up by the Directive 2003/87/EC. The Kyoto protocol sets a 7.5% reduction of greenhouse gas emission target compared to 1990. Belgium set up a National Allocation Plan at the federal level with target for each of the three regions.

Belgium takes part in the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change and has ratified the Kyoto Protocol.

On 14 November 2002, Belgium signed the Cooperation Agreement for the implementation of a National Climate Plan and reporting in the context of the UNFCCC and the Kyoto protocol. The first National Allocation Plan was for the period from 2005 to 2007. The European commission approved it on 20 October 2004. The second allocation plan was for the period 2008–2012 and aims a reduction of 7.5% of green house gas emissions compared to 1990.

Business[edit]

According to Forbes list of billionaires (2011), the Belgian billionaire Wang Xingchun ($1 B 2011) made his wealth in coal business.[31] Wang is a resident of Singapore who holds a Belgian citizenship. Wang is chairman of minerals concern Winsway Coking Coal, an importer of coal to China from Mongolia that went public in Hong Kong 2010.[32]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ IEA Key World Energy Statistics Statistics 2013, 2012, 2011, 2010, 2009, 2006 IEA October, crude oil p.11, coal p. 13 gas p. 15
  2. ^ Energy in Sweden 2010. Facts and figures. The Swedish Energy Agency. Table 8 Losses in nuclear power stations Table 9 Nuclear power brutto
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k "Energie Observatorium Kerncijfers 2010" (in Dutch). FOD Economie. Retrieved 10 November 2012. 
  4. ^ a b c "De energiemarkt in 2009". FOD Economie,K.M.O,Middenstand en Energie. Retrieved 12 November 2012. 
  5. ^ "Nieuwsbrief Nr 12". VITO. March 2000. Retrieved 20 December 2012. 
  6. ^ "Belgium". Dart Energy. Retrieved 20 December 2012. 
  7. ^ "Jaarverslag 2011". Belgische Petroleum Federatie. p. 2. Retrieved 17 November 2012. 
  8. ^ "Factsheet elia". Elia. Retrieved 17 November 2012. 
  9. ^ a b "Jaarverslag 2011". FEBEG. Retrieved 17 November 2012. 
  10. ^ http://economie.fgov.be/fr/binaries/rapport_gemix_2009_fr_tcm326-76356.pdf
  11. ^ http://edora.org/doc/news_24/091002%20CP%20EDORA%20_sortie%20nucleaire.pdf
  12. ^ a b c d http://ec.europa.eu/environment/climat/pdf/nap_belgium_final.pdf, DRAFT of Belgian National Allocation Plan for CO2-emission allowances 2008–2012, September 2006
  13. ^ 31 JANUARI 2003. – Wet houdende de geleidelijke uitstap uit kernenergie voor industriële elektriciteitsproductie."Belgisch Staatsblad N. 66 (jaargang 173)" (pdf) (in nl,fr). Belgisch Staatsblad. 28 February 2003. pp. 17662–17665. 
  14. ^ "Activities and Sustainable Development Report 2010". Electrabel. Retrieved 17 November 2012. 
  15. ^ Environ 500 éoliennes en Belgique, Lalibre.be, 11 janvier 2012
  16. ^ a b "Record aan stroom uit windmolens". Gazet van Antwerpen. 8 February 2011. Retrieved 5 November 2012. 
  17. ^ EWEA Staff (2010). "Cumulative installed capacity per EU Member State 1998 – 2009 (MW)". European Wind Energy Association. Retrieved 2010-05-22. 
  18. ^ EWEA Staff (February 2011). "EWEA Annual Statistics 2010". European Wind Energy Association. Retrieved 2011-01-31. 
  19. ^ EWEA Staff (February 2012). "EWEA Annual Statistics 2011". European Wind Energy Association. Retrieved 2011-02-18. 
  20. ^ Wind in power: 2012 European statistics February 2013
  21. ^ a b Photovoltaic Barometer 2012
  22. ^ Photovoltaic Barometer 2010
  23. ^ Photovoltaic Barometer 2011
  24. ^ "Key Figures 2012". Retrieved 18 November 2012. 
  25. ^ "Kleine Waterkracht" (in Dutch). ODE (Organisatie voor duurzame energie). Retrieved 29 November 2012. 
  26. ^ "Geïnstalleerd vermogen en aantal groenestroominstallaties per provincie" (in Dutch). VREG. June 2012. 
  27. ^ a b "Rapport annuel 2011" (in French). Sibelga. Retrieved 9 November 2012. 
  28. ^ http://www.curbain.be/download/CONF_09.1c-09-06-24_QuelAvenirPourLaMicrocogeneration.pdf
  29. ^ http://www.solvay.com/EN/NewsPress/Documents/2006/20061011_bluesky_EN.pdf
  30. ^ Federal Public Service of Public Health, Food Chain Safety and Environment (September 2006). Draft of Belgian National Allocation Plan for CO2-emission allowances 2008–2012. Brussels. 
  31. ^ Forbes list of billionaires (2011) Forbes list of billionaires (2011) Energy [ ] Forbes 10 March 2011
  32. ^ Forbes profile Wang Xingchun Forbes Belgium