Country report Belgium - IEA Bioenergy Task 40 - sustainable international bioenergy trade securing supply and demand

Sep 2009

In 2007, the Flemish Region used 29.1 PJ biomass for energy purposes, and the Walloon Region 33.8 PJ. The total green electricity (biomass + other renewables) production in Flanders was 1640 GWh in 2007 (2.7% of total gross inland electricity consumption), and 1609 GWh in Wallonia (6.3%). The 2007 Flemish sustainable energy inventory indicates the use of renewable heat of 9.7 PJ. Heat from renewables in Wallonia represented 19.5 PJ for the same year.
Two power plants yearly use about 700 000 tons pellets of which the greater part is being imported. An other important consumer of pellets is the residential sector where an increasing amount of stoves and boilers were installed in the past few years.
Nowadays, the total pellets production capacity in Belgium is estimated to be 500 000 ton per year.
Main financial support schemes are described for the three Regions, with a special focus on green certificate systems. The situation regarding sustainability criteria is described both for Flanders and Wallonia, illustrated by the Supplier Declaration Form of GDF-SUEZ/Electrabel. Figures related to land use, agriculture and forests are given both for Flanders and Wallonia. It appears that the amount of biomass produced in Belgium is very low in comparison with the country needs. The Flemish Region has a rather low biomass production potential from agriculture and forestry. The Flemish Region therefore focuses on the valorisation of its biomass-waste stream potential. Nevertheless, both Regions have to import an important amount of biomass for material and energy purposes.
Belgian industries having biomass resources (by-products) to their disposal are already producing bio-energy from their by-products (e.g. wood industry) when profitable or are waiting for a better economic context to invest.
Belgian data on biomass energy trade volume are generally not available. To overcome this situation, it will be useful to implement a “biomass monitoring system”. This can be done; preferably at federal level or, at least, at regional level sharing the same methodology. The main responsibilities of such a system (the exact structure is to be implemented) should be: to evaluate annually biomass (energy) trade volume (import / export) classified by origin of wood, to survey annually the market of domestic biomass heating systems (e.g. wood stoves, wood boilers) classified by type of solid biomass.

By: R. Guisson (VITO), D. Marchal (CRA-W)

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