Elia: ‘2020 shows 31% record growth in renewable energy’
According to the annual figures from the electricity network administrator Elia, several renewable energy records were broken last year. The production of solar and wind energy increased by 31% to 15,1 TWh or 18,6% of the energy mix.
Wind energy went up from 3 796 to 4 670 MW – mainly thanks to the two new wind farms at sea (Northwester 2 and Seamade); solar energy from 3 887 to 4 788 MW. The total production of wind and solar energy combined rose to a record of 5,8 GW (wind 3,2 GW; sun 2,6 GW) on May 11th. Elia also registered a record of 3,8 GW wind energy produced on December 26th around 9 p.m.
According to Elia, in 2020, for 119 hours, more than half of the energy consumed in Belgium came from renewable sources. One year before, it was only eight hours, and in 2018, it never happened.
The larger part of renewable energy is partly explainable by the corona crisis. Energy demand declined (-7%) during the lockdown. On the other hand, the production from renewable sources increased.
Sunny spring, windy autumn
“If only households needed electricity, we would have enough green energy to provide 4,3 million families with the necessary electricity,” explained Elia spokeswoman Marie-Laure Vansweele in De Tijd on Thursday. “Climatologic circumstances were ideal with a sunny spring and a windy autumn,” concludes Vansweele.
Despite these records, figures from the European Bureau for Statistics Eurostat show that Belgium is still lagging compared to most other European countries. In Sweden, more than all energy consumed already came from renewable sources in 2019.
In 2020, almost one-fifth of our Belgian electricity came from renewable sources; in 2019, it was ‘only’ 13,7%. Nuclear power plants produced 39% of Belgian electricity, gas power plants slightly more than one-third, and the import and export to and from neighboring countries almost remained in balance.