Wouter De Geest, CEO BASF Antwerpen
A 24/7 production site like ours still requires a huge amount of electricity. And of course, a secure and competitively priced power supply is essential. How can I be sure that the supply of electricity is guaranteed all year round, and at affordable prices?
David Zenner, Head of Customer Relations at Elia
Thanks to the tireless dedication of our employees, Elia has one of the top performing grids in Europe. We are not just committed to the security of supply but also to a reliable, sustainable and affordable electricity system for all market players and in particular our industrial consumers. We believe that the grid is crucial to the further economic development of our industry, of Belgium and of our prosperity in general.
Level of security of supply on the Elia grid
Annemie Vermeylen, Secretary General of Belgian Offshore Platform (BOP)
By 2020, the nine wind farms in the Belgian North Sea will be generating an average of 8 TWh of electricity each year. Thanks to the Stevin project, all of this power will be able to reach consumers. But a further 2,000 MW of offshore wind capacity is likely to come online after 2020. How will Elia manage to integrate this additional power generation?
Tom Pietercil, MOG Programme Manager at Elia
Elia is actively preparing for the increase in offshore wind generation. By 2020, there will be a large SwitchYard platform 40 km off the coast of Zeebrugge. This Modular Offshore Grid (MOG) will bundle together the cables from the new wind farms, allowing 2.2 GW of offshore wind energy to be brought onshore. For the additionnal wind capacity after 2020, further grid infrastructure will be needed. Our future needs will be published in late 2018 in the Federal Development Plan 2020-2030.
PIETER TIMMERMANS, CEO OF THE FEDERATION OF ENTERPRISES IN BELGIUM (FEB)
If we want Belgian companies to remain competitive, our electricity price must be comparable to that of neighbouring countries. While our industries are energy-efficient, they are more energy-intensive than those of our neighbours. Securing an identical electron price to those of neighbouring countries is an objective in itself. The capacity available at the borders at any given time is the primary determinant for this price.
James Matthys-Donnadieu, Head of Market Development at Elia
The Belgian electricity market is linked to markets in neighbouring countries via interconnectors. This means that we can always use the most efficient generating facilities to meet demand, regardless of whether they are in Belgium or abroad. The desired outcome is convergence between the Belgian electricity price and those of neighbouring countries. Elia is playing an active role in designing the electricity system of the future to ensure that it remains reliable, sustainable and competitive.
Leon Inkeberghe, Manager of Icarus Surfclub in Zeebrugge
The beach and shoreline form the backdrop to our surf club so they have to look pristine. Our members also use the beach a lot to practice their surfing and leave their kites on the sand. We're very grateful that Elia has consulted us about the works and is completing them as quickly as possible. However, having a safe and clean beach again afterwards is just as important.
Mathieu Donche, Nemo Link BE Project Manager at Elia
Ensuring that the beach looks its best after the works is a priority for us. This means carrying out the work to a high standard to prevent subsidence, and not leaving any waste behind. We will therefore dig the work area to make it level and sift the sand. We determine and discuss our working method in advance with stakeholders, in this case the surf club.
Dirk Wellens, Electronics Engineer at Elia
I used to work for Elia's predecessor CPTE. In the first few years, I mostly worked in IT, dealing with all the technical aspects of national dispatching. During my carreer at Elia, I got different functions which gave me the opportunity to know different Elia departments very well. My career to date has been extremely varied. But is that true for other colleagues too?
Marianne Celis, Business Partner at Elia
At Elia, we have a system of career and competency management that encourages people to develop as individuals and thereby improve their performance. We also discuss their short- and longer-term career ambitions. This is a win-win for both Elia and its employees, who get to experience a range of roles and can continue to learn and evolve throughout their career with us.
Danielle Devogelaer, Energy Expert at Federal Planning Bureau
Our electricity system is facing huge challenges. As small-scale generation and decentralisation increase, there is a greater need for digitalisation and platforms to facilitate multi-level cooperation. Technology can play its part in keeping the grid secure and manageable, alongside cooperation and exchanges with our neighbours. However, it is important that we have an accurate idea of their future generating facilities so that we can assess the needs of the Belgian system as efficiently as possible.
Alexandre Torreele, Head of Strategy & Innovation at Elia
Innovation also offers opportunities for the transmission system operators of the future. Elia tests and integrates new technologies in collaboration with all the market players. In 2017, we carried out tests involving digital technologies such as robots, machine learning and blockchain. Our aim is to determine whether these innovations can add value to our core business. This will help us to ensure that the market continues to operate efficiently in a new renewable and decentralised energy system.
We anticipate the needs of society and the expectations of our stakeholders and we make sure we are ready to take on new tasks – all this while maintaining an affordable, reliable and secure grid. Put simply: at Elia Group, we work in the interest of society.
In ‘Electricity Scenarios for Belgium towards 2050’, we did exactly what Elia is expected to do, namely support policymaking. We crystallised the challenges in what is a highly technical and complex debate.
We live in a world where talented engineers choose Google and Amazon rather than industrial companies. If we want to attract them, we have to show that we are innovative with an international outlook.
The Elia Group is active in electricity transmission.
With subsidiaries in Belgium (Elia) and northeast Germany (50Hertz), we operate 18,600 km of high-voltage connections that supply power to 30 million end users. As such, our Group is one of Europe’s top 5. With a reliability level of 99.999%, we provide society with a robust power grid.
We operate and develop our grid infrastructure in close collaboration with all stakeholders. We are highly focused on safety and our goal is zero accidents. We are committed to innovation and continuously improve our operational systems.
We develop new market products enabling new technologies and market players to access our grid. This is how we make the energy transition happen.
Operating the electricity system : Elia monitors the electricity system in real time, to ensure a reliable supply and efficient operational management of the medium- and high-voltage grid,
Facilitating the market : Elia develops services and mechanisms allowing the market to trade on different platforms, which promotes economic competitiveness and the wellbeing of all.
Managing the infrastructure : the Elia Group maintains and develops high-voltage equipment and infrastructure, including advanced technologies to enable the grid to integrate more renewable units.
The power grid is a key pillar of the energy policy that supports our socio-economic prosperity. The Elia Group aspires to be a catalyst for a successful energy transition and consequently, a reliable, sustainable and affordable energy system. By building interconnectors and integrating renewable energy generation, the Elia Group promotes both the integration of the European
energy market and the decarbonisation of our society.
30,000,000 End users (Elia Group)
18,600 km High voltage lines (Elia Group)
53.4% Renewable energy (50Hertz)
€ 1.62 Gross dividend
€ 216.6 mio normalised net profit
3.4% Dividend yield (closing price 2017)
1,749.6 kg IT material which got a second life (Elia)
13.62 km Of bird protection in Belgium (Elia)
34,000 Trees planted thanks to the life project (Elia)
On 7 September, Nemo Link, the joint venture between Elia and National Grid that will operate the first electricity interconnector between Belgium and the UK, started laying the first 59 km of the double submarine cable.
Late June saw the launch of BidLadder, a market platform developed by Elia enabling it to further boost liquidity on the balancing market and optimise its technical and economic performance.
In 2017, Elia acquired the permits needed for ALEGrO and Brabo II, allowing work on both projects to start in 2018. ALEGrO is the first electricity interconnector between Belgium and Germany, while Brabo II aims to strengthen the high-voltage grid in the Port of Antwerp and Belgium as a whole.
On 21 November, Elia officially inaugurated the Stevin high-voltage line in the presence of Prime Minister Charles Michel and Federal Energy Minister Marie Christine Marghem.
Discover the movie (in dutch)
Safety is a top priority for Elia, which is why it launched the “Safety for Contractors” programme in early April to further strengthen safety awareness amongst contractors.
2017 was an important year for the ‘electricity plug’ or Modular Offshore Grid (MOG). Elia’s Board of Directors approved the investment for the project in mid-April.
On 19 October, Elia opened its newly-renovated National Control Centre in the presence of the Federal Energy Minister Marie Christine Marghem.
In 2017, Elia published the study Electricity Scenarios for Belgium towards 2050. In its conclusions, Elia called on the authorities to take swift action to safeguard the Belgian energy system.
To improve the safety of the company as a whole, 50Hertz took part in an audit in 2017 to acquire ISMS certification in January 2018.
In 2017, 50Hertz celebrated its 15th birthday!
On 1 June in Copenhagen, 50Hertz’s Mobile Citizen’s Office – or Dialog Mobil – received a prize from the Renewables Grid Initiative (RGI) for its innovative public participation and its closeness with citizens.
The 9th of May marked the start of the installation of the back-to-back converter at the Bentwisch high-voltage substation. This is part of the Combined Grid Solution project, the first interconnector that will link the Baltic Sea wind farms, Kriegers Flak and Baltic 2.
In early October, 50Hertz started constructing a new type of line. In future, the CompactLine will make it possible to reduce landscape and nature intervention in sensitive areas caused by overhead lines.
50Hertz commissioned five new transformer substations in 2017 in Wolmirstedt, Heinersdorf, Hamburg, Putlitz and Altentreptow. Phase-shifting transformers were also commissioned in Röhrsdorf, on the border with the Czech Republic.
In early 2017, 50Hertz and Germany’s other three transmission system operators released a second version of the 2030 Network Development Plan, which sets out future scenarios depending on how quickly Germany wants to implement the energy transition.
The 200-km-long South-West Interconnector is fully operational after 15 years of development and construction. The 380 kV line between north-eastern Germany and Bavaria will ensure that Bavaria still has a reliable power supply following Germany’s nuclear phase-out.
On 11 December, EGI entered into a strategic alliance with EuroAsia Interconnector, the official EU project developer of the 2,000 MW interconnector between Israel, Cyprus and Greece. The agreement formalises cooperation on the development and implementation of the interconnector.
National Grid SA is facing a broad range of challenges in managing the power system, such as a high growth in demand and increasing integration of renewable energy sources and nuclear capacity. A gap analysis performed by EGI in 2013 identified the optimal solution for these challenges.
EGI plays an important role in the HVDC project Combined Grid Solutions. EGI works as the owner’s engineer on the interface between the owner (50Hertz and EndK) and the EPC contractor, for the construction of the converter station in Bentwisch, Germany.
In order to integrate even more wind energy into the grid, 50Hertz is planning the construction of new substations and lines to reinforce its network. EGI built and commissioned the new 380 kV substation ‘Heinersdorf’ in June.
In March, the Vietnamese power transmission system (NPT) asked EGI to perform a broad assessment of its activities and to propose a roadmap, to be compliant with international best practices by 2030. The results were delivered end 2017. This is the first EGI project in South-East Asia, where the company intends to increase its activities.
On 29 September, Elia and the Malaysian TSO Tenaga Nasional Berhad (TNB) signed a MoU for a strategic collaboration. The cooperation will cover a number of areas: asset management, cross-boundary system and market operations, grid development, network studies and renewable integration.
Elia has years of experience in managing its transmission grid and has built up indisputable technical expertise. As the energy transition progresses, the grid is having to accommodate increasing amounts of renewable energy, making the system operation more complex.
Elia is developing new maintenance policies aimed at maximising network availability, smoothing out peaks in equipment replacement and minimising costs. Elia is also drawing on new technologies and methods to move to a system of decision-making based on the condition of equipment rather than just a predetermined maintenance or replacement frequency.
Electrical infrastructure is and always will be dangerous. Operational excellence is key to safety, which is an absolute priority.
The Elia Group is rolling out the biggest investment programme in its history. This includes the modernisation of its facilities, the integration of renewable energy, the development of an offshore grid and the construction of interconnectors.
Elia uses tailored working methods and decision-making approaches and closely monitors progress on its investment projects, thus ensuring that projects are delivered on time, budget and quality.
At the same time, we are paying greater attention to public support for our infrastructure work. Thanks to extensive stakeholder management, we engage with all relevant parties throughout the decision-making process and during the implementation phase.
By opening up the market to new players and technologies, Elia aims to boost the security of supply, while also making market prices more competitive.
Developing these cross-border balancing mechanisms requires greater cooperation and coordination at the national and supranational levels, as well as an appropriate legislative framework. To achieve this, Elia ensures that every market player has transparent, non-discriminatory access to the grid.
Elia wants to facilitate further market coupling, both in terms of distribution and at European level. We give new players and technologies a chance by innovating in our systems and by introducing new market products.
Elia is committed to improving dialogue with the various market parties and aims to reduce the ecological footprint of its operations and develop projects for the community.
Elia’s activities have an impact on the country’s socio-economic development. As a key player in the energy system, Elia is committed to improving dialogue with the various market parties. It also aims to be a sustainable and responsible company that works hard to reduce the ecological footprint of its operations and develop projects for the community.
Elia wishes to take account of society’s needs and concerns at every stage of its infrastructure projects. We approach our stakeholders with empathy and integrity. Elia has developed a policy defining its ambitions and actions on sustainable development. The policy focuses on four main areas: economy, environment, society and employment.
Elia develops the competencies needed to cope with the challenges of the future. It has to be an agile company with the right expertise, one that can change at the same pace as the world around it.
In 2017, Elia surveyed its employees to see how much progress was being made. Where were they in relation to the new values? How much further did we still have to go? What processes were needed to facilitate the cultural change currently taking place at Elia?
To implement this cultural change, Elia is adopting a top-down approach in which management sets an example for every employee. An action plan is currently being developed to bring Elia’s new culture to life.
In a rapidly changing energy landscape, the Elia Group continues to innovate in our industry, so the power sector can evolve and benefit us now and in the future.
Innovation is the catalyst for a swift energy transition. We are preparing for the future by keeping our eyes open for new developments in infrastructure management, system operation and the integration of our markets in a European context.
As well as continuing to integrate innovative technologies, we stay abreast of the latest developments in the energy sector. Elia has a range of initiatives that foster and reward innovative thinking, to ensure that our employees remain at the forefront of new developments.