Elia Group, consisting mainly of the Belgian system operator Elia and the German system operator 50Hertz, plays a key role in the energy transition that is currently taking place.
In 2015, Elia Group made significant progress in grid expansion projects. In Belgium the construction of a number of large high-voltage infrastructure projects is well underway. In the North of the country, Elia is reinforcing its grid for supporting the development of the Antwerp port and developing its infrastructure for accommodating offshore wind developments in the North Sea. In the South of the country, Elia reinforces the Boucle de l’Est to integrate onshore wind. Finally, Elia started the work on the first submarine interconnection between Belgium and the UK, better known as the Nemo project. Also in Germany, 50 Hertz made good progress as construction started for several onshore projects across the country. The offshore project Baltic II has been completed, connecting 80 windmills of a total capacity of 288 MW to the onshore grid.
Elia and 50Hertz performed also outstanding results in terms of grid reliability. Both TSOs have shown great flexibility in the management of their electricity system. In Belgium, at the start of the winter one third of the generation capacity was not available due to the unexpected fallout of three nuclear plants. Elia took all possible measures to master the situation like close co-operation with different market players and co-ordination with neighbouring TSOs for mastering significant energy imports. In addition, several initiatives were undertaken- both in Belgium and Germany- to ensure continued electricity supply, such as providing strategic reserves and boosting demand-response to cope with peaks in demand.
The Elia Group continued the successful integration of renewables to the electricity system. In the control region of 50Hertz, now more than 50% of the installed capacity is renewable and in 2015 more than 45% of the consumed energy came from renewable energy sources. Through its engagement in two European areas, the Elia group continues its role as an active driver of market integration in North-Western and Central Eastern Europe. Close cooperation with important European Power Exchanges has further been fortified and agreements have been made on additional crossborder trade through the construction of phase shifters. In addition, the Flow-Based methodology has been launched jointly by CWE transmission system operators (TSOs) and Power Exchanges. While facilitating cross-borders electricity exchanges, this improved methodology is a major advance towards the integration of Europe’s energy markets. (...)
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