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.
In this report, the Federal Planning Bureau sets out to scrutinise the place hydrogen can occupy in the future Belgian energy system by 2050. In fact, this publication focuses on two divergent evolutions of energy (end) uses: on the one hand, a far-reaching electrification of the final energy consumption, on the other, a sustained and increased use of gas for transport, (industrial) heating and power generation. Different outcomes of the two future visions are reported such as the required investments in infrastructure (interconnections, electrolysers, storage).
December 22 2017, the Federal Planning Bureau received an assignment from the federal minister of Energy, Mrs. Marghem, to perform a new study. The occasion was the appearance of the joint Vision document elaborated by the four Ministers of Energy and the subsequent demand for additional calculations by some stakeholders. The main task of this supplementary study then consists in analysing the impact of four predefined electricity scenarios with horizon 2030 on a number of socio-economic indicators.
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.
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.