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Electricity production in Belgium set a record level in 2021

Illustration picture shows electricity cables during an evacuation exercise from the highest transmission tower (192m) in the Benelux region, Wednesday 24 June 2020 in Antwerp. (BELGA PHOTO DIRK WAEM)
05:48 17/05/2022

Total electricity production in Belgium last year increased by about 13.5% compared to 2020, RTBF reports, citing figures from the annual report of Creg, the federal energy regulator. The report, released on Monday, set the figure at 93.3 TWh (Terawatt hour), a record level.

The production of nuclear power plants increased sharply, from 32.9 TWh in 2020 to 48.0 TWh due to higher availability. However, the production of gas-fired power plants decreased by 4.7 TWh to 19.1 TWh. Wind and solar energy production remained at about the same level as in 2020.

Due to the strong increase in production and a smaller increase in demand (+4.1% to 84.4 TWh), electricity exports from Belgium to neighbouring countries increased sharply in 2021, to 20.1 TWh. "This translates into a very positive net export balance," the Creg report states. It reached 7.6 TWh against a net physical export of 1.1 TWh in 2020. Export flows mainly went to France and the United Kingdom.

Creg noted that electricity prices rose explosively in all European member states to unprecedented levels in the second half of the year, under pressure from rising natural gas and CO2 prices.

In the natural gas market, gas consumption in Belgium remained roughly stable at 190.3 TWh last year, compared to 190.7 TWh in 2020. The activity of the Zeebrugge LNG terminal reached a new record level in 2021 in terms of the number of LNG vessels, both for unloading and loading, says the regulator. Natural gas prices rose "very strongly" in the short- and long-term markets last year, especially in the last three months of the year.

Written by Nick Amies