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BEST - Belgian Energy System

Electro- and synthetic energy carriers to face the climate change issues and ensure the stability of the grid and the security of supply in 2040 and beyond.


The energy transition in Belgium has a clear direction: electricity will become the dominant vector and renewable productions, mainly solar and wind, must be extensively installed. Yet, there are still many open questions, especially on the contribution of fuels, not anymore from fossil origin but as energy carriers synthetized from renewable energies. These fuels can be liquid (CH3OH, CnHm) or gaseous (H2, CH4, NH3). They can be produced from biomass (“synthetic fuels”, via H2  and CO) but, more importantly, from excess electricity (“electrofuels”, via H2). They appear as a sound solution to store renewable electricity on the long term and retrieve it in various forms of energy for the security of supply and strategic reserves. To help the phasing out of natural gas, they could feed combined cycle gas turbine units, industrial processes, combined heat and power units, etc. They could also contribute to mobility in cases where electrification is difficult to implement.The development of an holistic model will provide a deep insight in the role of these carriers in the energy system, as well as their energy and economic costs. The key issues of the uncertainties on the current state and the future of the system will be analyzed through a robust optimization approach. The impact of the integration of these carriers on the electricity grid is included in the study as well as several ways to improve the total efficiency of the use of these renewable fuels for different applications.

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Julien Blondeau
Assistant Professor