Crucial energy choices in Belgium: An investigation of the options, our energy future

August 18, 2016

Client:  Greenpeace
Period:  2014


Belgium is at a critical turning point in its energy history. Our country is indeed facing several challenges that are creating issues of security of supply, sustainability, costs and risks. With the nuclear safety issue and the phase-out plan, and with the anticipated decreasing generation adequacy margin, it is now time to make some crucial energy choices. Greenpeace, BBL and WWF want to make sure that these choices are future-oriented. They therefore commissioned 3E to analyse possible energy scenarios for the future with a special focus on the electricity sector and energy efficiency, and see what is needed to develop a safe, secure, affordable and sustainable energy future. This study is also meant to initiate the important discussion on Belgium’s energy choices for the future.

3E has developed a detailed model of the Belgian electricity sector. Starting point is the investor’s point of view. For each technology – renewable as well as conventional technologies – a business model was worked out that incorporates a broad spectrum of technical, financial and economic parameters. The model explicitly takes into account the Levelized Cost of Energy (LCOE), electricity prices and the distribution cost of solar PV systems and enables policy makers to assess the impact of different parameters on the required subsidy levels. Compared to other more sophisticated models like e.g. TIMES and PRIMES, the 3E model allows for direct assessments of specific measures whereas for these cost optimizing models it is not always clear how to evaluate the outcome of these models.