Primary energy consumption (i36)

  •  17/10/2022
  • objective 
  •  assessment 

In 2020, primary energy consumption was 1.84 exajoules in Belgium. To achieve the sustainable development goal by 2030, this figure must decrease. The projections of the National Energy-Climate Plan 2021-2030 of Belgium indicate that this objective will be reached (data available in November 2021). Primary energy consumption is therefore developing favourably.

The chart will appear within this DIV.
The chart will appear within this DIV.
The chart will appear within this DIV.
The chart will appear within this DIV.

Primary energy consumption - Belgium - trend assessment

exajoules (EJ)

 2000200520102015202020252030
observations2.202.162.231.911.84----
projection (November 2021)--------2.001.911.79

Eurostat (2022), Primary energy consumption [sdg_07_10], https://ec.europa.eu/eurostat (consulted on 30/05/2022); Concere, CNC (2019), Plan national intégré Energie Climat Belge 2022-2030, https://www.nationalenergyclimateplan.be/en (consulted on 30/05/2022).

Primary energy consumption - Belgium

exajoules (EJ)

 199019952000200520102015201920202020//19902020//2015
Belgium1.912.022.202.162.231.912.031.84-0.13-0.79
//: Average Growth Rates

Eurostat (2022), Primary energy consumption [sdg_07_10], https://ec.europa.eu/eurostat (consulted on 30/05/2022).

Primary energy consumption - EU27

exajoules (EJ)

 199019952000200520102015201920202020//19902020//2015
EU2757.2756.8158.4762.7161.0356.6356.6851.76-0.34-1.78
//: Average Growth Rates

Eurostat (2022), Primary energy consumption [sdg_07_10], https://ec.europa.eu/eurostat (consulted on 30/05/2022).

Primary energy consumption - Belgium and international comparison

gigajoules (GJ) per capita

 199019952000200520102015201920202020//19902020//2015
Belgium191.67199.24214.16206.21204.61169.56176.40159.23-0.62-1.25
EU27136.75133.89136.34144.13138.61127.49126.80115.71-0.56-1.92
//: Average Growth Rates

Eurostat (2022), Primary energy consumption [sdg_07_10] and on Eurostat (2022), Population change - Demographic balance and crude rates at national level, Population on 1 January [demo_gind], https://ec.europa.eu/eurostat (consulted on 30/05/2022); calculations FPB.

Definition: primary energy consumption is the energy imported or produced in Belgium before any processing (mainly oil refining and power generation), excluding exports, marine bunkers (fuel provided to ships for international journeys) and non-energy uses (for example oil used as raw material in the chemical industry). The indicator is expressed in exajoules (EJ= 1018 joules). EU countries are compared on the basis of primary energy consumption per inhabitant. The indicator is calculated by the FPB on the basis of data from Eurostat.

Goal: the primary energy consumption must decrease.

The Sustainable Development Goals or SDGs adopted by the UN in 2015 include target 7.3: “By 2030, double the global rate of improvement in energy efficiency”.

The Federal Long-Term Strategic Vision for Sustainable Development includes objective 18: “The increase in the energy efficiency of products will continue to be pursued with a view to reducing final energy consumption” (Belgian Official Gazette, 08/10/2013).

The 2030 EU Climate and Energy Framework sets, among other things, a target of 27% energy efficiency increase. The National Energy and Climate Plan sets a target for Belgium of 1.79 EJ in 2030 (CONCERE and Commission nationale climat, 2019).

This target has to be compared with the one for energy productivity. Assuming an annual 1.4% GDP growth (as in the FPB energy outlook), this target corresponds with a primary energy consumption of 1.36 EJ in 2030. That is substantially lower than the above target of 1.79 EJ. For the purpose of coherence between the different targets, only the desired direction (decrease) is used as objective for primary energy consumption.

International comparison: as in Belgium, the primary energy consumption in the EU27 increased from the nineties to the early 2000s, with a maximum level in 2006. It then gradually decreases to reach in 2020 a lower level to the one measured in 1990.

The primary energy consumption per inhabitant is higher in Belgium (159 gigajoules/inhabitant in 2020) than in the EU27 (116 gigajoules/inhabitant). The gap remained stable over time. This is due to the large number of intermediate goods industries (steel industry, chemical industry) consuming large amounts of energy and to the poor insulation of the building stock in Belgium. When Member States are divided into three groups, Belgium is part of the group with the poorest performance in 2020. In that year, Malta ranked first with 60.2 gigajoules/inhabitant and Luxembourg last with 261.2 gigajoules/inhabitant.

In Belgium, such as at European level (Eurostat, 2015), the evolution of the indicator since the mid-2000s is primarily due to the implementation of energy efficiency policies, the variation of the economic cycles, climate variations, as well as changes in the economic structure (including changes in the weight of industry over time).

UN indicator: the selected indicator does not correspond to any monitoring indicator for the SDGs but is related to target 7.3. Indeed, the increase in energy efficiency results in a decrease in primary energy consumption. Both concepts are therefore directly related.

Sources

More information is available in French and Dutch.