This report by the International Energy Agency (IEA) provides an in-depth review of Belgium’s energy policies, offering to the country's policy makers recommendations on the various energy sectors.
According to the report, in recent years, Belgium has made clear progress in increasing competition in the electricity and natural gas markets. It has also managed to reduce the use of fossil fuels and increase the use of renewable energy. The country's economy is becoming less energy intensive.
As in all IEA member countries, a major challenge for Belgium is to decarbonise the economy while ensuring security of supply and affordability of energy. A long-term approach is required, and, given that responsibility for energy policy is divided between the federal and regional governments, the authorities must work decisively together to form a national energy strategy.
The report highlights the potential energy efficiency offers to help Belgium meet its energy policy goals. It also recommends further support to renovating the building stock and switching away from oil in space heating. Buildings renovation should remain a priority and its rate should be increased, as it provides large cost-effective potential for further efficiency gains and emissions reductions. Heating solutions that are not based on fossil fuels should be encouraged. Also, demand-side participation, especially market-based, could be increasingly used to drive a more efficient consumption of electricity, with climate and security benefits. Smart meters and smart grids would be essential to fulfill this potential. In addition, the report suggests abolishing direct and indirect subsidies on energy use and replacing them with more targeted measures on citizens and companies in need.
Under any scenario, Belgium’s energy supply needs to be further diversified and energy demand further limited. Transport and buildings hold a large potential for efficiency and climate gains, and fiscal incentives and price signals could be used more frequently in order to reap them.
To download the report, please use the link below.