21 June 2024

Summer Outlook: Elia calls for vigilance from market parties this summer

There is a real chance in the months ahead that our energy system will come under pressure on days when a lot of renewable energy is produced but consumption levels are low. 

That is the finding of the summer outlook in which Elia maps the export requirements for the months ahead across various scenarios (with high, moderate and low likelihoods of occurring). Elia has noticed a huge increase in the number of additional solar panels in Belgium since the beginning of 2023. According to forecasts, we will have approximately 10 GW of installed panel capacity in Belgium by July 2024. Together with the high level of availability of the nuclear fleet in certain situations, this causes electricity surpluses and so entails substantial export requirements. The market has been given this information so that it can prepare properly. Elia calls on market parties to be vigilant. In the long run, the answer is flexibility, namely tailoring our consumption to cater for times when a lot of energy (in particular, cheap energy) is available. 

  • In the months ahead, with a lot of solar energy but low consumption levels, there is a real chance that there will be surplus electricity at times, meaning that exports will be much needed.
  • The reason for this is the high level of availability of the nuclear fleet and the substantial increase in renewable (especially solar) energy. 
  • Elia relies primarily on the market (in the form of balance responsible parties, or BRPs) to ensure the balance between electricity supply and demand. Negative prices will occur on the imbalance market.
  • If the market fails to maintain balance on the grid, Elia has a number of technical tools it can use to intervene if necessary. 
  • In the long term, it is absolutely vital that more flexibility is deployed to support the system.

Marleen Vanhecke
Head of Communication & Reputation Elia Group
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