Working Paper

The potential for low-carbon renewable methane in heating, power, and transport in Belgium

This study presents the production potential for renewable methane in Belgium in 2050. Belgium is developing the domestic energy and gas infrastructure policies necessary to comply with the recast Renewable Energy Directive (RED II) and its Paris Agreement commitments. This study assesses the long-term potential to produce renewable methane, and the associated production costs, in Belgium by 2050. In addition, the potential contribution of renewable methane to Belgium’s electricity, heating, and transport sectors is assessed, identifying the extent to which it can contribute to the country’s policy targets.

This analysis finds that the total production potential of renewable methane in Belgium is relatively limited and would only meet roughly 5% of Belgium’s projected 2050 natural gas demand. At this maximum production level, renewable methane could displace existing fossil fuel consumption and reduce emissions by roughly 6.5 to 7 million metric tonnes of CO2e, depending on end-use.

Overall, the renewable methane that could be produced in Belgium would make only a modest contribution to Belgium’s overall Paris Agreement ambitions and long-term plan to achieve carbon neutrality. Although incentives should be made available to those renewable methane producers using sustainably available feedstocks with good GHG performance, most of the renewable methane potential production in Belgium is not particularly cost-effective to deploy.

Alternative fuels