The Belgian power transmission system operator (TSO) Elia has released its fourth biennial study, which focuses on Belgium's adequacy and flexibility needs for the coming decade (2024-2034), forecasting a 3.7%/year increase in electricity demand between 2022 and 2035, from 82.9 TWh to 132.9 TWh (+60%).
Electrification is rapidly spreading across sectors like mobility, heating, and industry, leading to increased capacity needs. Short-term adequacy needs for winter periods have been identified, and the government has contracted new capacity through auctions, but additional action is required to meet the gap.
To maintain Belgium’s security of supply, Elia considers that the best option is to extend the lifetime of two of the country’s nuclear reactors in such a way that the two nuclear units remain available during winter periods from 2025-2026 onwards.
The long-term solution involves the flexible long-term operation of two nuclear units to maintain security of supply. In the medium-term, electrification will require strengthening and expanding distribution and transmission grids.
By 2029, about 2.9 GW of additional new capacities will be needed to keep the system adequate. Beyond 2033, the capacity gap will increase due to continued electrification, and offshore wind and interconnectors with surplus electricity generating countries can help address future needs.