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Energy intensity of the industrial sector

In 2011, the energy intensity of the industrial sector in the Brussels-Capital Region amounted to an average of 170 MWh per million euro of added value in volume. The thus calculated industrial energy intensity reached a peak in 2002, and saw a steady and significant decline from then on, amounting to -27% between 2002 and 2010, although it appears to have stabilised these last few years.

Context

The energy intensity is the relationship between the amount of energy a sector consumes and a variable that represents this sector. Hence, a higher energy intensity corresponds to:

  • Either a greater consumption of energy per unit of the variable considered,
  • Or a reduction in the representative variable used (decrease in the value of the denominator in the ratio calculated).

In order to estimate the energy intensity of the economic activities, two approaches are used: the number of workers or the production (added value). As the industrial sector is characterised by a high level of mechanisation, preference is given to the second approach. The energy intensity of the industrial sector is therefore calculated based on the data on the added value in volume. These provide a better representation of the quantities produced than the data on the added value at current prices, as the latter are subject to inflation.

Evolution of the industrial energy intensity

Evolution of the industrial energy intensity (compared to the added value in volume expressed in millions of chain-linked euros) in the Brussels Region

Source: Regional energy balances 1990-2011 and BISA, calculations by Brussels Environment

As a reminder, energy consumption by industry does not include a climatic correction, since its dependence vis-à-vis the climate is considered low or even non-existent.

In 2011, the average energy intensity of the industrial sector in the Brussels-Capital Region amounted to 170 MWh per million euro of added value in volume.

In terms of evolution over time, the thus calculated industrial energy intensity reached a peak in 2002, and saw a steady and significant decline from then on, amounting to -27% between 2002 and 2010, although it appears to have stabilised these last few years.

Explanatory factors

Several factors can explain this evolution:

  • The recent evolution of the Brussels' industrial activity is a primary factor: there was a simultaneous drop in the activity (gross added value) and in the energy consumption of certain sub-sectors that are representative of the industrial activity within the BCR.
  • Furthermore, the evolution can be attributed to the improvement of the building stock (including e.g. insulation of buildings, new constructions which perform better in this respect), enhanced energy efficiency of the equipment used, or the effect of energy-saving behaviours, whether imposed (for instance because of the rising energy prices) or not.
Date de mise à jour: 13/11/2018