Adequacy study for belgium: the need for strategic reserve for winter 2018-19


Today Elia has published its probabilistic analysis of Belgium’s adequacy for the winter 2018-19. This analysis is an important element for the Federal Minister for Energy to take into account when deciding on the required volume of strategic reserve.

After several interactions with stakeholders, Elia has brought a number of adjustments to the methodology used. Also, with a view to an increased transparency, publication of the analysis is scheduled six weeks earlier than defined by the legal process.

In this report some ‘sensitivities’ were taken up on top of the base case scenario. These sensitivities mainly relate to the availability of the nuclear plants in Belgium and in France, as well as operating conditions of a given generation unit (Drogenbos) in Belgium. Considering these ‘low-probability events with a high impact on Belgian adequacy’, a firm need of 500 MW or 600 MW of strategic reserve volume is identified for the winter 2018-19, depending on the operation of the generation unit Drogenbos.

The Federal Minister for Energy will decide by 15 January 2018 upon the most likely scenario and the resulting need of strategic reserve. Elia recommends considering the low-probability, high-impact scenario.

Note that Elia’s most recent study 'Electricity Scenarios for Belgium towards 2050', published on 15 November, investigates the needs of the system at the longer term. With a view to the planned nuclear phase-out in 2025, this study identifies for each long term future scenario a need for additional adjustable (thermal) generation capacity to be able to cope with the shock of the nuclear exit and to guarantee Belgian security of supply.