The FPB’s studies cover 11 main themes: Energy, Environmental economic accounts and analyses, International economy, Labour market, Macroeconomic forecasts and analyses, Public finances, Sectoral accounts and analyses, Social protection, demography and prospective studies, Structural studies, Sustainable development, Transport.
This paper examines what role offshore wind can play in helping Belgium achieve climate neutrality by 2050. The Belgian Exclusive Economic Zone is limited and its exploitation for energy purposes cannot be extended indefinitely. Therefore, this paper looks at the development of joint hybrid offshore wind projects that both provide renewable energy capacity and can serve as interconnectors linking different countries. Two scenarios are defined and studied. They differ in the level of ambition for these hybrid hubs and the necessary electricity supply for a de-fossilised Belgian economy.
Besides developing energy outlooks for Belgium, the FPB analyses and studies specific questions around four themes, each of which represents an aspect of the vast energy issue:
These issues are analysed using tools and methods developed by the FPB or by third parties within the framework of research projects.
Owing to the integration and the reforms of the European natural gas and electricity markets and the issue of energy supply security, those two sectors of our economy have come to the forefront of the political agenda. Whether this involves reforms of the markets or the security of energy supply, the field of investigation goes beyond merely the Belgian framework: the European and international dimensions of the energy sector have to be taken into account.
The FPB’s studies on this issue are very different in scope. Some fit into the general framework of studying reforms in the network industries (see the theme "Structural studies > Belgian and European Regulation"). Other studies deal with very specific problems related to the sectors concerned, such as the impact of a black-out or electric vehicles in Belgium or analysis of the adequacy of electricity production in Belgium.
Since the modification of the Electricity and Gas Laws in 2005 (Belgian Official Journal, June 14, 2005 [Dutch version - French version]), the FPB has been working with the Directorate General for Energy of the FPS Economy, S.M.E.s, Self-employed and Energy, on the elaboration of the Prospective Studies for Electricity and Natural Gas. This collaboration was maintained in the later revisions of the Electricity and Gas Laws (Belgian Official Journal of 19 May 2009 and Belgian Official Journal of 11 January 2012). The Prospective Studies for Electricity (PSE) examine how to match electricity demand and supply in the medium and long term. The Prospective Studies for Gas (PSG) scrutinize the challenges related to the security of the natural gas supply in Belgium.
In a political context of reducing greenhouse gases, developing renewable energy sources and improving energy efficiency, the evolution of the energy mix in the long and even very long run has been the object of specific analyses.
Certain analyses are only focused on Belgium (Impact of the EU Energy and Climate Package and of a 100% renewable energy mix by 2050). Others broaden the research field to the global and European levels (see pdf: WETO H2, WETO 2030).
The FPB analyses the historical evolution of energy prices in Belgium.
It also studies the macroeconomic effects of changes in energy prices, resulting, for instance, from an oil shock or tax measures aimed at reducing the emission of greenhouse gases. To do this, the FPB uses the HERMES model (see the theme "Medium-term macroeconomic projections and analyses > Medium-term forecasting"). Analyses of this kind are produced regularly.
The energy sector is one of the most important sectors for developing and implementing policy measures towards sustainable development. Within the framework of its activities, the Task Force for Sustainable Development (see the theme “Sustainable development”) studies the interactions between energy and sustainable development and determines the major challenges facing Belgium.