Belgium turned major net power exporter in 2022

France, hit hard by nuclear plants offline for repair, sourced most of its electricity last year from Belgium, which also served as a transit nation for natural gas headed to Germany.
Photo: Yves Herman/Reuters/Ritzau Scanpix
Photo: Yves Herman/Reuters/Ritzau Scanpix

Belgium provided quite a lot more than meeting space for deciding EU energy policy in 2022, when the nation also managed to keep the lights on in France.

The small country in the heart of Europe, as national promotion about Belgium frequently reads, also transmitted nearly 10TWh of electricity to France, corresponding to the power consumption of 2.8 million households, reports Euractiv.

Belgium thereby became the year’s main power exporter to its much larger southwestern neighbor.

Last year saw France’s generation capabilities hobbled as several nuclear reactors lay dormant due to both scheduled upkeep as well as drought-stricken rivers, with the scant water supply also parching domestic hydroelectric facilities.

Hence France, usually a net exporter, was obliged to buy electricity from Belgium, normally a net importer.

Regarding natural gas, Belgium also helped its other big neighbor, Germany, get ahold of fuel supply. Preceded only by Norway and Russia, Belgium served as the third largest gas supplier to Europe’s largest economy.

In total, the low country served as intermediary for 441TWh of gas – or triple the volume usually used by Belgium. 

Next year, Belgium’s status as net energy exporter will be degraded somewhat due to a recently decommissioned atomic power plant.

Sign up for our newsletter

Stay ahead of development by receiving our newsletter on the latest sector knowledge.

Newsletter terms

Front page now

Further reading