The Belgian Power Balance

L. Meeus, K. Purchala, and R. Belmans (Belgium)


Problems Facing the Power Industry, Reliability, PowerSystem Planning


Modern society is increasingly vulnerable to a shortage of electricity. Recent electricity outages around the world focused the attention to the issue. In the aftermath some important questions were raised that are addressed in this paper. By 2004 all non-domestic electricity consumers will be entitled to search for cheaper energy on an open market, not confined by country borders. Beginning 2007, this should be the case for all consumers. Will they search across borders because it is cheaper or because the foreign suppliers offer a better service or will they simply need to do so because domestic generation is unable to meet their electricity needs? Is the European electricity market heading towards major generation capacity shortages? From a reliability perspective, why would a country choose to depend on import in the long run to supply domestic demand? Are regulators capable to take adequate measures to secure supply of electricity? In this paper, the Belgian dependability on import is modeled and results are evaluated. The authors argue that Belgian import dependability is not yet dramatic. With peak load increasing and no investments in generation capacity seen, the power balance could become problematic in the near future.

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