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Overall energy intensity
The energy intensity is the relationship between the amount of energy a sector consumes and a variable that represents this sector. A higher energy intensity therefore corresponds to a higher energy consumption per unit of the variable considered. On a national or international level, a country's energy intensity is often calculated in relation to the GDP or the number of inhabitants. In recent years, the BCR has gradually improved its overall energy intensity per inhabitant: 19.3 MWh/inhabitant in 2011 as opposed to 24.3 in 2005 and 22.1 in 1990.
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 a higher energy consumption per unit of the variable considered.
On a national or international level, a country's energy intensity is often calculated in relation to the GDP or the number of inhabitants. Incidentally, the use of these indicators is also widespread in comparisons between regions or countries.
Overall energy intensity of the Brussels Region
Evolution of the Brussels population and evolution of the total energy consumption in the Brussels Region, with and without climatic correction
Source : Regional energy balances and BISA according to the figures from the DGSIE (population on 1 January)
As a reminder: the climatic correction is aimed at identifying the influence of the meteorological characteristics for the relevant year and therefore at giving an idea of the evolution of the energy consumption at a constant climate.
Overall, the total energy consumption in Brussels has seen a decrease since 2004 (for additional information see the indicator for Brussels' energy consumption). The population of Brussels, on the other hand, has steadily increased since 1997.
Hence, the total energy intensity per inhabitant has gradually improved in the past years:
The socio-economic characteristics of the spatial entity which is the subject of such a calculation, will inevitably have a strong influence on the indicator. For the interpretation of the results we therefore have to take these specificities into account.
In the case of the Brussels-Capital Region in particular, we are dealing with an urban region characterised by:
- a large number of commuters (~365,000 according to the latest estimates of the survey into workers 2012 by Statbel), which means that part of the energy consumption for transport or for economic activities is connected to the activity of persons living outside the Region;
- a predominantly tertiary activity and a limited industrial fabric.
Population growth can also result in an improvement of the energy intensity, regardless of possible evolutions in the socio-economic fabric.
Hence, a complementary, more detailed analysis (per energy-consuming sector) is required.