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Open Access Electricity Production Plan for Belgium post-2025

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This article is Open Access under the terms of the Creative Commons CC BY-NC-ND licence.

Challenge: Blueprint for sustainable electricity supply in Belgium after 2025. This paper investigates how electricity could best be produced in a sustainable manner in Belgium post-2025, taking into account the planned nuclear power phase-out and the Paris 2015 Climate Agreement. For this purpose, a survey was made of the possible application of different types of renewable energy in Belgium, including hydropower, bioenergy, solar energy, wind energy and geothermal energy. The resulting plan for the production of electricity in Belgium post-2025 includes a (considered to be realistic) maximum number of renewable energy resources to be used, with natural gas being suggested both to replace nuclear power and to ensure that the demand for electricity can be guaranteed. This scenario, with about 66% of the electricity being generated by CO2 -emitting fuels, would lead to a significant increase in CO2 emissions in comparison to the reference situation of 2014. An alternative scenario, in which two of the newest nuclear reactors remain in operation beyond 2025, would suggest about 41% of the electricity being produced using CO2 -emitting fuels, leading to no net increase in CO2 emissions with respect to 2014. Further, it is suggested that the government would invest heavily in the research and development (R&D) of renewable energy sources. A special focus should be on R&D related to renewable energy sources that seem to be promising for Belgium but have not yet been fully explored, such as biofuel cells, third generation biofuels, improved geothermal system energy and tidal energy. Finally, the electricity plan is complemented with suggestions for the optimization and rationalization of electricity consumption, including the insulation of houses, exchanging light bulbs for LED lamps, smart grid use and the spread of electricity consumption. Accompanying policy measures to achieve this are suggested as well.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 01 December 2017

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  • Transdisciplinary Insights (TI) is an open access student journal dedicated to giving a forum to transdisciplinary research and systems thinking. The journal communicates the results of cross-disciplinary collaboration by masters students and early career researchers, stimulated by the KU Leuven Honours Programme, in close interaction with societal actors. This ambitious journal will present refreshing outside-the-box insights and new ideas that have the potential to find their way to the established research environment. All contributions are peer-reviewed and meet academic quality standards.
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