Electricity imports peaked in 2018

Last year 22% of the electricity used in Belgium was produced abroad. According to figures from the company responsible for managing Belgium electricity grid Elia, we import almost three times as much electricity from abroad in 2018 as we did in 2017. Technical issues with the reactors at Belgium’s two nuclear power stations impacted production capacity and meant that more electricity had to be imported to satisfy demand.   

In 2017 half of the electricity produced in Belgium came from nuclear power. Last year this fell to 34%. This fell to between 15% and 17% during October and November when just one of the country’s seven nuclear reactors was producing electricity.  

The shortfall in electricity nuclear production from nuclear power stations was filled by gas fired power station at home and imports from abroad. In November, electricity produced by gas fired power stations accounted for 43% of the electricity consumed in Belgium, the highest percentage ever. During 2018 as a whole gas fired power station account for 27% of electricity production.     

The import of electricity from abroad peaked in September, October and December. This was due to both the issues with the nuclear reactors and the lower electricity prices in neighbouring countries. In September were imported 33% of the electricity we consumed.  

Green energy

The proportion of green energy produced in 2018 was 12%, 1% more than in 2017. This increased to 13% during the months with the most sun (April to September).