Belgian security of supply - Need for strategic reserve in winter 2016-17


besoin de réserve stratégique pour l'hiver 2016-17

Ensuring the security of Belgium’s electricity supply has been a priority for some time, leading to legal and regulatory changes. Accordingly, a strategic reserve mechanism was created for Belgium, entailing new tasks and responsibilities for Elia.

One of these tasks consists of defining the strategic reserve requirement by means of a probabilistic analysis covering Belgium’s security of supply.


The report for winter 2016-17, including indicative assessments for winters 2017-18 and 2018-19, meets stakeholders’ demands – via a public consultation – for greater transparency about scenarios and outcomes. The main methodological changes were incorporating market response and applying the flow-based methodology for international flows.

The conclusions in this report, related to the need for strategic reserves, covers the time horizon until 31 March 2017. After this date, additional power generation units may be closed down. This risk, added to the fact that other production units in the neighbouring countries may shut down, will significantly influence the need for strategic reserve in the winters after 2017.

Elia submitted the report to the FPS and Minister for Energy on 13 November. Elia used the knowledge available at that time and could not foresee the 17 November announcement by the Federal Agency for Nuclear Control authorising the restart of Doel 3 and Tihange 2. In the reference scenario used in the report neither unit was considered available. However, the report took nuclear availability into account as a sensitivity factor.

Read the report (in French) or (in Dutch).