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 with the greatest caution and allow 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 Federal Planning Bureau 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 (see pdf file).
These analyses combine:
a baseline scenario describing the evolution of the Belgian energy system without any 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 PRIMES model
The PRIMES model 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:
either developed by the FPB itself,
or by the government or the federal administration, in collaboration with the FPB.
Every three years, the FPB works out and publishes a long-term energy outlook for Belgium. The first publication dates from 2001. This periodicity tallies with the FPB’s task described in the Gas and Electricity Acts. The energy outlooks serve also 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 Federal Planning Bureau are also used outside the institution. The resulting studies expand on analyses carried out by the FPB and may contribute to the social debate. They are the responsibility of the author(s). That was for instance the case for the study of the GEMIX Group, as 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 have participated.
Medium-term energy outlook
In parallel with the long-term energy outlooks, the FPB also studies the medium-term evolution of the energy demand within the framework of its yearly publication of the 5-year economic outlooks (see 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.