the energy

Annual report 2016
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Elia at a

  • The Elia Group wants to act as a driving force in the energy transition. We seek to advance socio-economic progress and society’s interests in everything we do. We make decisions in consultation with our stakeholders. Safety remains a top priority for us. As a regulated company, we not only invest in innovative infrastructure and digital systems, we also invest in people. We are open to new technologies and create opportunities for all market players. By focusing on these areas, we can ensure a smooth transition to the electricity system of tomorrow.

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  • Miriam Maes

    Chairperson of the Elia Group

    Electricity transmission is evolving into a two-way flow, where both supply and demand can be controlled. The energy transition has created a need for additional flexibility.

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  • Chris Peeters

    CEO of the Elia Group

    If we correctly anticipate trends, we can resolve the energy trilemma in one or two generations: plenty of affordable, sustainable energy for everyone.

    And that means Europe would not be dependent on the rest of the world for its energy supply.

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Key Figures

    • 168.0 Mio€

      Normalised net profit

    • 1.58 €/share


    • 3.2 %

      Dividend yield

    • 2557.3 Mio€

      Net Debt

    Contribution to normalised results

    • 59% Belgium
    • 41% Germany


    440 MIO€ Belgium
    737 MIO€ Germany
    • 30000000

      Residents covered

    • 143000 Km²


    • 18400 Km

      High voltage lines
      in Belgium and in Germany

    • 6


    • 35000 MW

      Installed capacity of renewable energy

    • 2100


    • 26


    Cross Border Exchange Belgium


    Cross Border Exchange 50Hertz


Key Events

    • Visit by
      king Philippe

      In April, King Philippe visited Elia’s National Control Centre in Brussels. The Federal Minister of Energy, Marie-Christine Marghem, was also present.

    • Official inauguration of
      the Créalys site

      Elia’s new Créalys site, near Namur, was officially inaugurated on 19 April with an event attended by the Walloon Minister of Energy Paul Furlan. The facilities housed by the new building include the Regional Control Centre. The new site was designed with a clear focus on being as environmentally friendly as possible.

    • Study on adequacy and the need for flexibility in the electricity system

      At the request of the Minister of Energy, Elia carried out a study to assess the balance between power generation and power consumption, and it evaluated the need for flexibility in the electricity  system. This study, which covers the period from 2017 to 2027, is essentially a quantitative assessment of these considerations and examines Belgium within the wider context of the European market.

    • Two awards
      for our life project

      On 23 May 2016, the European Commission selected the LIFE Elia-RTE project as the winner of the Natura 2000 Award in the ‘Reconciling interests/perceptions’ category. The very next day, the project also picked up one of the two Sustainable Partnerships’ prizes awarded by The Shift.

    • Elia celebrates its 15th birthday

      Elia was founded on 28 June 2001 and celebrated its 15th birthday in 2016.

    • New strategy,
      new values

      Elia’s CEO, Chris Peeters, unveiled Elia’s new strategy, mission and values in September.

      These were the result of in-depth discussions and set out the company’s strategic choices and chosen path for the years to come.

    • First trades on the intraday platform

      The Belgian and Dutch intraday markets were successfully coupled to the German, French, Austrian and Swiss intraday markets on 5 October 2016.

    • Phase 1 of the Brabo project complete

      Elia completed Phase 1 of the Brabo project in late October. This entailed upgrading the second high-voltage line between Doel and Zandvliet and commissioning an additional phase-shifting transformer on the Dutch border. The Brabo project aims to bolster Belgium’s security of supply.

    • Contracts for the
      Alegro project

      On 29 September, Amprion and Elia signed a contract with Silec Cable for the delivery of the cable system for the ALEGrO project. The two system operators also concluded a contract with Siemens on 29 November, for the delivery of the two high-voltage direct-current (HVDC) converter stations for the first electricity interconnection between Germany and Belgium.

    • Boucle de l’est - first stage complete

      On 6 December, Stage 1 of the Boucle de l’Est project was completed on schedule with the commissioning of the line linking Bévercé, Bütgenbach and Amel. In time, this upgrade project will enable the grid to accommodate the renewable energy produced in the region while also helping to boost the security of its electricity supply.

    1 /10
    • Commissioning of the first four phase-shifting transformers on the german-polish border

      In June, Polish transmission system operator PSE successfully commissioned the first four phase-shifting transformers on the German-Polish border at Mikulowa substation. The northern interconnection between Vierraden and Krajnik was taken out of service at the same time. The line is due to be recommissioned by 2018.

    • Energy transition outlook 2035

      50Hertz took a look into the future with a study on the energy transition between now and 2035. The study sketched out five development pathways in the form of long-term scenarios and analysed their impact on the electricity grid. The results clearly indicated that 50Hertz’s current grid expansion projects were necessary for practically all of the scenarios and sensitivities studied, and that they were therefore justified.

    • Andalucia in the baltic sea

      The offshore substation for the Wikinger offshore wind farm was installed in the Baltic Sea in August. The platform, which was built in Spain and bears the name ‘Andalucía’, is intended for shared use by 50Hertz and Spanish energy group Iberdrola. It is located in the Baltic Sea, 35 kilometres from Sassnitz. Back on dry land, work on the Ostwind 1 offshore grid connection project continued to progress.

    • 50hertz’s new headquarters opens its doors

      In September, 650 50Hertz employees moved into their offices at the company’s new headquarters in Berlin. The building’s open-plan office design was chosen by means of a participatory process conducted within the company. In October, the new headquarters received two awards in recognition of its sustainability. DGNB (the German Sustainable Building Council) and LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) each presented 50Hertz with gold sustainable development certificates for the new building

    • 50hertz obtains high sustainable development rating from vigeo eiris

      In November 2016, 50Hertz received a ‘robust’ Environment, Social and Corporate Governance (ESG) rating from Vigeo Eiris and is now placed in the upper-middle range in the ‘Electricity & Gas Utilities’ category. The company thus doubled its scores and entered the second-highest assessment category.

    • Wind power record for 50hertz

      1 December saw transmission system operator 50Hertz feed some 13,212 megawatts (MW) of wind power into its grid, exceeding the 13,000 MW threshold for the very first time. The new record, which was made possible by Storm Theresa, was set at around 9.00 p.m. The previous record for the 50Hertz grid dated back to 21 December 2015, when the feed-in reached a height of 12,832 MW.

    1 /06

The energy

Elia believes that the transmission system operator has a fundamental role to play in this rapidly changing environment. Elia takes an innovative approach to system management and develops market mechanisms and products to enable optimal integration of renewable energy and decentralised generation.

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Our strategy

  • 01

    We ensure a secure, reliable
    and efficient grid

    We respond to the rapidly changing energy mix and constantly adapt our transmission grid, thus contributing fully to maintaining the high level of the security of supply.

    Elia has years of experience in managing its transmission grid and has built up indisputable technical expertise. However, the ever-changing backdrop of the energy transition, characterised by more volatile generation and the need for flexible balancing products, means that system management is an increasingly complex task.

    At the same time, Elia is faced with an ageing infrastructure. With that in mind, a sophisticated asset management strategy has been put in place to monitor the functioning of critical infrastructure components and new working methods have  been introduced for the efficient management of midlife retrofits. A balanced asset replacement policy needs to stagger investments so as to smooth out ‘peaks’ in expenditure and avoid the boom-or-bust scenarios of the past (historical peak in investment following the Second World War, connection of gas-fired and nuclear power stations, integration of renewable sources, and so on). Since working methods are evolving, staff need training to help them develop the requisite skills and techniques. Elia provides professional training courses for both its own staff and its contractors.

    Safety is an absolute priority in Elia’s management of its grid, alongside the continuous pursuit of operational excellence. Elia is working towards a zero accident rate through the Go for Zero programme. We expect our staff and our subcontractors to work safely, healthily and carefully.

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    Discover our video
    on safety

    Safety is a priority for Elia

    “ Elia teams up with distribution system operators to enhance safety ”
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  • 02

    We deliver the transmission
    for the future

    We ensure that the investments needed for a progressive energy transition are made on time and within budget, live up to the applicable quality standards and correspond to society’s needs and choices.

    Elia is currently rolling out the biggest investment programme in its history. As well as covering replacements for existing facilities, the CAPEX programme mostly consists of investments intended to incorporate renewable energy into the grid and facilitate the further integration of the European energy market through interconnections.

    Elia uses specially tailored working methods and decision-making approaches, and closely monitors progress on its investment projects, thus ensuring compliance with the proposed budget, time and quality criteria.

    At the same time, Elia is paying greater attention to the public acceptance of its infrastructure work. Its comprehensive stakeholder management scheme ensures that it has constructive, transparent contact with all the relevant stakeholders throughout the decision-making process and during the implementation stage. Elia works with stakeholders wherever possible in order to bolster public support.

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    our video

    18 km of new nature area from Zutendaal to Maaseik

    “ In time, the environmentally friendly connection and the more natural forest border will serve as a migration route and a living and breeding area for animals. ”
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  • 03

    We develop the
    system and markets

    Elia wants to facilitate market coupling at both distribution level and european level. We open up opportunities for new players and new technologies by innovating in our systems and with new market products.

    Managing the electricity system is one of our core tasks: this entails keeping supply and demand balanced at all times. To achieve this, Elia ensures that every market player has transparent, non-discriminatory access to the grid.

    The rapid, profound changes associated with the energy transition – increasingly decentralised energy generation, more renewable energy sources and a greater degree of digitisation – are making this task more and more challenging.

    By opening up the market to new players and new technologies, Elia hopes to obtain better security of supply and competitive market prices.

    The development of these cross-border balancing mechanisms requires greater cooperation and coordination at both national and supranational level, as well as an appropriate legislative framework.

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    To find out more, see
    interview with vynova group

    Cooperation between energy market players: a real boon for flexibility

    “ Cooperating with Elia on reserves is worthwhile for us because it helps us to reduce our energy bills. ”
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  • 04

    We cooperate to
    strengthen our TSO position

    We are committed to implementing the energy transition in cooperation with all market parties, through enhanced coordination with other system operators at national and european level.

    Our activities have an impact on the country’s socio-economic development. As a key player in the energy system, Elia is endeavouring to improve its alignment and coordination with the various market parties and system operators at both national and supranational level.

    By implementing win-win projects and sharing our expertise and data, we ensure that society’s interests always come first. We understand what our customers and the market players need. We regularly consult with them through a range of platforms. Elia also serves society by conducting in-depth studies on the operation and needs of the electricity  system.

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    Discover the video report about
    the elia stakeholders’ day

    Elia Stakeholders’ Day

    “ The Stakeholders’ Day is clear evidence that Elia wants to play a key role in society. Elia is positioning itself as a kind of custodian that watches over the system. ”
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  • 05

    We align culture with strategy

    Elia needs a corporate culture that supports its strategic priorities and goals. Change is necessary. We have defined three core values and four aspirational values to point our employees in the right direction and help guarantee the success of the transition and our strategy.

    In 2016, Elia’s management undertook a series of in-depth discussions with a view to determining the company’s strategic choices and direction for the years to come. It soon became apparent that a change of culture would be required if the strategy was to be implemented successfully.

    To that end, the three core and four aspirational values were selected in cooperation with representatives from various Elia departments. These are an extension of Elia’s previous values and build on the company’s strengths. They form the basis of Elia’s new culture and constitute the starting point for all our activities.

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    Transferring skills through collaboration

    “ At Elia, peer coaching partnerships comprising a senior technician and a junior technician are the linchpin of our approach to training new hires. ”
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  • 06

    We have our eyes wide open for innovation & growth opportunities

    As well as further integrating innovative technologies, we stay abreast of the latest developments in the energy sector: doing this helps us to strengthen our company and make the energy transition happen.

    Elia is preparing for the future by keeping its eyes open for new developments in infrastructure management, system operation and integration of the Belgian markets in the European context. Innovation is the catalyst for a swift energy transition.

    How can we improve our management of unpredictable renewable energy sources? How can we optimise our use of existing infrastructure and exploit the potential of market coupling to the full? How should we handle the changes in consumer behaviour resulting from the rise of electric cars, heat pumps and batteries?

    Elia organises initiatives to foster and reward innovation within the company to ensure that Elia staff will always be at the forefront of the energy transition.

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    Elia Innovation Sharing Challenge

    “ The award ceremony for the second Innovation Sharing Challenge took place in November 2016. This internal competition aims to improve day-to-day operations in the field with innovative proposals and solutions. ”
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  • Consolidated results (in Mio€)

  • Consolidated results (in €)

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