Natural gas in the Belgian energy mix
Using low-emission technology, natural gas-fired combined cycle gas turbine power plants (CCGT plants) will continue to occupy an important part in an ever more diversified Belgian energy mix:
- The CCGT process produces only about half the CO2 emissions of those from coal power plants. This is compatible with the worldwide efforts to reduce CO2 emissions.
- Electricity grids become unstable with an increased share of intermittent renewable energy sources. State-of-the-art CCGT plants are best suited to balance these fluctuations because of their ability to start up and shut down quickly.
- From 2013 all large CO2 emitters in Europe must purchase certificates on the market. As CCGT plants have significantly lower CO2 emissions, their CO2 costs will be lower than older coal plants which will be shut down over time. This is, of course, beneficial to the end consumers too.