Belgium imported a record €1.151 billion worth of electricity in 2018, according to statistics recently released by the National Bank of Belgium. This figure is two times higher than the amount imported in 2017.
Belgium exported €213 million worth of electricity in 2018, thus putting the figure for net imports at €938 million euros – also a new record.
Figures published in January by the network operator Elia also show that 22% of the electricity consumed in Belgium in 2018 came from abroad, compared to 8% in 2017.
These phenomena are explained by the low availability of nuclear power plants in Belgium in 2018 (only one reactor out of seven ran from mid-October to mid-November, and nuclear power produced one third less electricity in 2018 than in 2017), as well as by simple market logic, which pushes providers to import electricity when it is cheaper in neighbouring countries than in Belgium.