Energy outlook

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The Belgian energy landscape by 2050 : an outlook assuming no changes in policy [27/10/2017]

This energy outlook describes the evolution of our national energy system by 2050, assuming unchanged policy. The analysis of this outlook makes it possible to assess, at Belgian level, whether it is necessary to adopt and the extent of new measures and policies in view of the 2030 European Framework for Climate and Energy and the transition towards a low-carbon society by 2050.

The forecasts for the Belgian economy are characterised by modest growth, steady job creation and persistent public deficits [20/06/2017]

The Federal Planning Bureau’s Economic Outlook makes it possible to outline a future ‘at unchanged policy’ of the Belgian economy for the next five years. The 2017-2022 Outlook takes into account a modest economic recovery in the euro area and is characterised by economic policy measures at the Belgian level that lead to more labour-intensive growth.

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The energy outlooks for Belgium constitute an important input tool for policy making. They provide coherent and detailed projections of the Belgian energy system. They are developed periodically and provide a quantitative assessment of the likely range within which the Belgian energy system will develop. The range varies according to the assumptions formulated for key parameters such as economic growth, energy prices, technological evolution and policy choices.

The FPB produces energy outlooks for the long term (20 to 30 years) and for the medium term (5 to 10 years). The long-term projections concern both the supply of and demand for energy, while the medium-term projections focus on energy demand.

Long-term energy outlook

The long-term energy outlooks (20 to 30 years) developed by the FPB are currently based on quantitative analyses carried out using the energy model PRIMES.

These analyses combine:

  • a baseline scenario describing the evolution of the Belgian energy system without new structural or policy changes;
  • a series of alternative scenarios assessed in comparison with the baseline scenario.

The alternative scenarios focus on the long-term environmental and energy challenges. The scenarios allow for analyses of the effects of specific policies and measures on the energy system, CO2 emissions and the energy costs borne by the various economic agents. The study is completed by sensitivity analyses which are aimed at assessing the uncertainties pertaining to some assumptions.

The long-term energy outlook for Belgium is published every three years. The first publication dates from 2001. This periodicity tallies with the FPB’s task described in the Gas and Electricity Acts. The energy outlooks also serve as a starting point for related analyses focusing on a specific issue such as the management of electricity demand, the development of regional energy projections, etc.

The long-term energy outlooks of the FPB are also used outside the institution. The resulting studies expand on analyses carried out by the FPB and may contribute to the social debate. The author(s) are responsible for their own reports. That was, for instance, the case for the study of the GEMIX Group, ordered by Royal Decree of 28 November 2008 and published on 30 September 2009 (see French pdf file or Dutch pdf file), in which FPB experts participated. At the request of former energy minister P. Magnette, the study was updated and published in July 2012 (see French pdf-file or Dutch pdf-file).

The PRIMES model

The PRIMES model  (see pdf file) is not available at the FPB and is implemented by the National Technical University of Athens (NTUA), the main designer of the model. However, the FPB carries out some of the data collection, outcome analysis and report writing. Regarding the alternative scenarios, they are developed: by the FPB itself, or by the government or the federal administration, in collaboration with the FPB.

Medium-term energy outlook

In parallel with the long-term energy outlooks, the FPB also studies the medium-term evolution of energy demand within the framework of its yearly publication of the 5-year economic outlooks (see the theme Forecasting, projections and analyses > Medium-term forecasting). This analysis is carried out using the macrosectoral HERMES model. On the basis of these economic outlooks, the FPB also provides medium-term (5 to 10 years) projections of greenhouse gas emissions.

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