Belgium's green energy production continues to rise
2020 was a record year for sustainable electricity production. The figures from our high-voltage grid operator, Elia, show that over the past year our country performed well in terms of the production of electricity from solar and wind energy.
Renewable energy now accounts for 18.6% of the total electricity produced in Belgium. In 2019, the renewable energy sources, sun and wind, accounted for 11.5 terawatt-hours of production (a terawatt-hour is a unit of measurement that corresponds to 1 billion KW-hours), while in 2020, renewables represented 15.1 terawatt-hours, a third more than the previous year. Nuclear power generation dropped from 50% to less than 40% of the total.
According to Elia's spokesperson, this increase is due to greater production capacities: two new offshore wind farms have been added to the existing ones, and the number of onshore wind turbines has also grown, while the surface area of solar panels has increased significantly. Favourable weather also contributed to these good results, as last year was particularly windy and sunny.
In addition, our energy consumption in 2020 decreased by 7% compared to the average of the previous five years. This was especially true for the first lockdown period, during which a 25% decrease was recorded. As required by the law of supply and demand, this decreased consumption led to a drop in the wholesale price (by almost a quarter) on the market in the short term.