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. As such, this outlook can make a useful contribution to the forthcoming debate on the Interfederal Energy Pact aimed at establishing a common energy vision to the different federated entities by 2030 and 2050.
At the request of the federal Minister of Energy, this report was carried out as a follow-up on the cost-benefit analysis published by the Federal Planning Bureau in February 2017. It constitutes an addendum to the February study in that some additional questions impacting the Belgian production park are scrutinized in detail. Four topics are dealt with. The first one concerns the impact of an increase in the Belgian cross-border transfer capacity by 2 GW on the functioning of the domestic flexible thermal park. The effect this will cause on the full load hours, the system marginal cost, CO2 emissions, the required volumes of natural gas and employment is studied. Second, the report assesses the cost of keeping currently existing gas-fired power plants operational and provides a comparison with the cost of building new flexible and reliable units. Third, the socio-economic impact of an increased risk of a black-out is scrutinized. The economic asymmetry this induces in relation to the costs and benefits of maintaining sufficient domestic capacity to comply with the legally defined Loss of Load (LOLE) criterion of 3h is documented. Finally, the question of premature closure of currently existing Belgian gas-fired power plants that have not yet reached the end of their operational lifetime is investigated by means of different indicators throughout the paper.
In this report, different capacity portfolio and import scenarios for Belgium are investigated. They are based on the reports published by the Belgian transmission system operator Elia in 2016. Four scenarios are scrutinized differing in their overall context (level of carbon price) and/or in the choice of the content of their structural block. A fifth scenario is added which constitutes a sensitivity analysis: in this scenario, a considerable amount of new natural gas-fired power plants on top of the structural block is built on the Belgian territory in order to study the impact of a fairly lower level of (net) imports and even explore the net export option. The five scenarios are compared in order to assess potential longterm strategic choices from a societal perspective.
In this paper, the impact of a nuclear downtime and subsequent restart on wholesale electricity prices on the Belgian power exchange is investigated by means of a dual methodology. First, publicly available market data is used to construct a stable statistical model that is deployed to examine the effect of nuclear power generation variations on market price outcomes. Quantifying this phenomenon, also called the merit-order effect, with the aid of econometric methods translates into an esti-mated price decrease of around 10 €/MWh for a nuclear capacity hike of 2.5 GW. The importance and impact of the openness of the Belgian market, that is, its strong reliance on cross-border energy exchanges is highlighted. Next to this empirical evidence, the optimisation tool Crystal Super Grid is used to assess the impact of the resumed availability of the nuclear reactors on several indicators characterising the Belgian and European power landscape. A positive effect on overall welfare, consumer surplus and CO2 emissions can be noticed. As regards prices, this analysis confirms the negative merit-order effect which is calculated to equal, on average over a year, 3.8 €/MWh. Nevertheless, temporary hourly excesses of 30 €/MWh can occur. The paper then describes the possible causes of divergence between the two approaches.
Our findings have important policy implications as they demonstrate the need to take the downward influence of prolonged nuclear power generation on wholesale prices into consideration when revising the (timetable in the) nuclear phase-out law since it may have a delaying effect on the compulsory energy transition towards a low-carbon economy.
Working Paper 09-16 [12/10/2016]
On October 17, 2014, the Federal Planning Bureau published the fifth edition of its triennial long-term energy outlook. The report describes a Reference scenario up to 2050 and demonstrates the large discrepancy between this Reference scenario and what is necessary to be on track for the EU 2030 Climate/Energy Framework as well as for the low-carbon economy by 2050, hence the need for additional policies and measures. This observation led to the writing of this paper in which three policy driven scenarios that are compatible both with the 2030 and 2050 greenhouse gas emission reduction challenge outlined by the European Council are being scrutinised. The analysis encompasses environmental, energy system, economic and social impacts.
Working Paper 03-15 [29/04/2015]
Every three years, the Federal Planning Bureau presents the long-term energy projections for Belgium. This fifth edition simulates the implementation of the EU Climate and Energy legislative Package at the level of the Belgian energy system by 2020. However, this exercise is not limited to 2020, but projects the evolution of the system until 2050.
Privatization, internal market, interconnections, greenhouse gas emission reductions, renewable energy targets… is it possible to reconcile these themes? And if so, will our lights stay on? This is a major concern of a number of players in the energy field, especially the Secretary of State for Energy since he is responsible for guaranteeing the security of supply. In times of increased electricity production by variable energy sources and of distorted investment signals, guaranteeing security of supply is not evident, since the absence of investments in sufficient reserve capacity and – worst case scenario – inadequacy of generation capacity may lead to soaring societal costs. This Working Paper focuses on the specific event that, in spite of all initiatives and mechanisms in place, things go wrong: a national black-out paralyzing the entire Belgian economy for 1 hour and its price tag are analysed.
Working Paper 03-14 [10/03/2014]
In this working paper, the employment effect triggered by a transition towards an all renewable energy system in Belgium by 2050 is scrutinized. The job impact is estimated up until the year 2030. Using a labour intensity methodology, net job gains are to be expected in each renewable trajectory for any given year. A distinction is made between construction, installation and manufacturing (CIM) and operations, maintenance and fuel processing (O&M) jobs, with the maximum amount of CIM jobs created over the reference scenario exceeding the amount of O&M jobs. This points to the fact that renewable energy sources tend to have a higher construction and installation component in employment than fossil fuels. These installation jobs, along with numerous other job types (e.g. monitoring, planning, certifying), are bound to be and remain domestic. A sensitivity analysis on the effect of applying a decreasing employment multiplier over time is modeled, accompanied by an enumeration of arguments pro and contra using this type of multiplier. All through the paper, a number of reflections are brought to the fore that may nuance the obtained figures and effects. In order for the jobs to materialize, targeted educations, preferably in close collaboration with industry, technical schooling and interest in science are crucial. Enabling policies and measures within a solid, transparent policy framework should accompany the whole process. In this regard, some policy domains and actions are described that could prove useful in tapping the vast job potential.
Working Paper 07-13 [09/09/2013]
In 2011, the four Belgian ministers (1 federal, 3 regional) in charge of energy commissioned a consortium consisting of three scientific partners, being the Federal Planning Bureau (FPB), the Institut de Conseil et d'Etudes en Développement Durable (ICEDD) and the Vlaams Instituut voor Technologisch Onderzoek (VITO) to analyse the feasibility as well as the impact of a Belgian energy system transformation towards 100% renewable energy by 2050. This target is not focalized on the sole power sector, it applies to all primary energy consumed on the Belgian territory.
The main question that is raised in this publication is whether Belgium is able to fully function on renewable energy sources by 2050. Although the objective is highly ambitious, this study shows that it is (technically) possible. The switch to an all renewable system would require a total investment of 300 to 400 billion euro during the period up to 2050. At the same time, however, the transition offers an answer to many challenges.
- EFEN2011 [15/11/2011]
- EPG 2008-2020 – Final report [04/10/2011]
By the end of 2008, the Federal Planning Bureau published the Working Paper 21-08. This Working Paper described and analysed the impact of the EU Climate-Energy Package on the Belgian energy system and economy. Since then, however, a lot has changed: the macroeconomic projections altered radically further to the financial and economic crisis, recent developments in the field of oil and gas supply and demand made fossil fuel price projections to be revised upwards and a number of energy efficiency measures were agreed upon and put into law in the course of 2008 and 2009. All this made the 2008 study less relevant whilst only 2 years old. This study report then updates the analysis reported in the Working Paper 21-08 and dedicates special attention to the stepping up to -30% for the EU greenhouse gas reduction target. It is based on the new economic and policy context and benefits from recent analyses of the European Commission conducted at EU level.
Working Paper 09-11 [15/07/2011]
The main objective of the paper is to evaluate the development of the EV in a couple of selected energy scenarios, to address the influence climate policy and the presence of nuclear energy can have on this development and to estimate the impact of different EV penetration rates on electricity demand. Throughout the paper, it becomes clear that, in the absence of specific, dedicated EV public programmes, policies and measures aimed at curbing climate change spark off the penetration of EVs, especially on a longer time horizon (up to 2030): with post 2012 climate policy in place, the pure EV penetration in 2020 attains approximately 2% of the road vehicle fleet while in 2030, around 5% of the road vehicle fleet will be electrically propelled. In the time span up to 2020, the electricity consumption of the EVs is rather small: it ranges between 0.4 and 0.5 TWh. It isn’t until 2025 and 2030 that EVs start to have a more visible impact on electricity consumption, stretching out between 1.2 and 1.4 TWh which represents approximately 1% of the total final electricity demand in 2030. Nuclear energy can then be a modest incentive for EVs through, assuming perfect market functioning, a decrease in electricity prices, hence triggering a slightly higher EV penetration.
This paper assumes that no specific dedicated policies are in place to stimulate the upsurge of EVs. If policy makers decide they want to support and even intensify the expansion of EVs considering their positive impact on oil independency, climate change, transport efficiency and possibly job retention/creation, further policy measures (beyond climate policy) embedded in a long term national master plan are of utmost importance.
Working Paper 13-10 [21/05/2010]
In December 2008, the European Union adopted an integrated Energy/Climate package which steps up the Union’s energy and climate policy ambitions to a new level and outlines how the effort will be shared among the Member States. This paper underlines the benefits of the EU Energy/Climate package in terms of energy supply security for Belgium, and more specifically the positive impacts the twin target – greenhouse gas emissions reduction and development of renewable energy sources – has on our dependence on fossil fuels. More specifically, the paper shows that substitutions in favour of renewables and a decrease in energy demand including the demand for electricity, which are the key responses of the Belgian energy system to the Energy/Climate package, not only allow to keep a balanced fuel mix in power generation in 2020 but also lead to reduced overall fossil fuel imports relative to baseline projections. They also water down the trend towards an increased dependency on natural gas imports. Net imports of fossil fuels decrease by 9% in 2020 compared to baseline trends. Compared to the year 2005, they increase only slightly by 3%. The growth of natural gas imports is limited to 11% over the same period, against +21% in the baseline.Working Paper 16-09 [21/12/2009]
In order to prepare for the negotiations on the EU Energy and Climate Package, the Federal Planning Bureau was asked by the Belgian federal and regional authorities to conduct a study on the impact of the January 2008 European Commission’s proposal. In the course of this study, various scenarios were run. Next to a baseline, two main alternative scenarios were scrutinised: the 20/20 and 30/20 target scenarios, standing for an EU reduction of respectively 20% and 30% of GHG emissions in the year 2020 compared to the level of 1990 and a 20% mandatory EU share of RES in Gross Final Energy Demand in 2020. The report then includes an analysis of the impact of both scenarios on the Belgian energy system and economy as well as on GHG emissions.Working Paper 21-08 [15/12/2008]
- Planning Paper 102 [31/10/2007]
- Working Paper 09-07 [06/06/2007]
- Working Paper 07-07 [16/04/2007]
In the Royal Decree de dato December 6, 2005 (published in the Belgian Official Journal1 of December 19, 2005) the installation of a Commission Energy 2030 was officialised: the Commission is made up of a number of Belgian and foreign experts who will carefully scrutinize the energy future of Belgium on a long term horizon (2030). In order to fulfil this task, it was decided to start from a quantitative, scientific base. Because of the long expertise in modelling and analysing of long term energy projections, the Federal Planning Bureau (FPB) was asked to take up the task of providing the Commission with the necessary input. This input will subsequently be studied by the Commission, as well as complemented with analyses and other activities executed in its bosom.
This report aims at gathering the work carried out by the FPB in the above framework. The heart of the analysis of the Belgian energy outlook to 2030 is provided by a set of energy scenarios. These scenarios provide a quantitative basis for the analysis of environmental, energy and economic challenges Belgium will be faced with in the coming years. Doing so, the analysis gives a valuable input to the report the Commission Energy 2030 has to deliver to M. Verwilghen, the federal Minister of Energy.REPENERGY0601 [20/09/2006]
- Kyoto 2006 [20/07/2006]
- Action III - 01 [16/11/2004]
- Working Paper 18-04 [08/10/2004]
- Working Paper 08-04 [26/02/2004]
- Working Paper 13-02 [16/12/2002]