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Strategic reserve

Elia is responsible for organising, managing and, if necessary, activating a strategic reserve mechanism to offset any structural generation shortages during the winter months.

Ensuring security of supply

The strategic reserve was introduced by the Law of 26 March 2014 amending the Federal Electricity Act of 29 April 1999. This tasked Elia with organising, managing and, if necessary, activating a strategic reserve mechanism to offset any structural generation shortages during the winter months. This mechanism helps guarantee Belgium's security of supply in winter. It differs from the balancing resources Elia uses all year round to offset the sum of BRPs' residual imbalances in real time.


Volume assessments

Elia calculates the strategic reserve required by means of a probabilistic analysis covering Belgium’s security of supply; Elia must perform this analysis by 15 November every year. The following report outlines the analysis for the next three winters.


Functioning Rules and Procedure for Constitution

Elia also establishes the Functioning Rules and the Procedure for Constitution.

The Functioning Rules describe, among other things, the indicators used to identify shortages and the principles governing the activation of strategic reserve by the system operator. They set out:

  • the rules concerning capacity reservations in connection with the constitution of strategic reserve;
  • the rules governing the activation and remuneration of strategic reserve, the activation procedure and its impact on imbalance tariffs;
  • how Elia provides the market with data on the reservation and activation of strategic reserve;
  • the monitoring of the mechanism.
Pursuant to Article 7(d)(1) of the Act of 29 April 1999 on the organisation of the electricity market, Elia sets out and publishes the details of the Procedure for Constitution of Strategic Reserve after consulting grid users, distribution system operators, the regulator and the General Direction Energy.
Should the Energy Minister instruct Elia to constitute a strategic reserve, Elia will organise a tender procedure via contract notice.
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