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PRESS RELEASE

Tel.: 02 546 70 11 Fax: 02 546 70 10

30 November 2012

Winter Outlook from ENTSO-E and for Belgium    

Situation for winter 2012-2013 considered satisfactory for Europe and Belgium Moderate risk of power failure in Europe in case of major cold snap (which happens statistically once every 10 years) across the entire continent, combined with no wind or solar power Belgium structurally dependent on imports for the entire winter period Elia grid enables imports up to 3500 MW; suppliers responsible for purchasing energy

The electricity transmission system operators produce forecasting studies for different time periods to check adequacy between generation capacity / grid infrastructure and demand. These studies take to account the necessary additional reserve, which is deployed if the biggest generating unit or grid component goes down. Forecasting studies are carried out by each transmission system operator and consolidated at European level by ENTSO-E (the European network of transmissions system operators) for each summer period (Summer Outlook) and each winter period (Winter Outlook). ENTSO-E publishes today its Winter Outlook for winter 2012-2013. The study points out that, under normal circumstances, security of supply in Europe will be ensured. However, Europe may face a moderate risk of a power failure in case of prolonged and severe winter conditions across the entire continent (such a situation occurs statistically once every 10 years and is characterised by extremely low temperatures), coupled with the lack of solar and wind power generation. This is especially relevant since Belgium will be structurally dependent on imports for the entire winter period due to the non-availability of its Doel 3 and Tihange 2 units and since the early closing of Germany’s nuclear power plants in 2011 is still impacting on the European electricity system. In Belgium The studies confirm that due to the non-availability of generating units Belgium will be structurally dependent on imports during the winter peak in order to meet electricity demand every week during winter 2012-2013, except for the two-week Christmas holiday period. While Elia’s upgrades to its interconnections with neighbouring countries enable Belgian market players to source electricity outside Belgium (up to 3500 MW, equivalent to 3.5 nuclear power stations), the suppliers and access responsible parties (ARPs, responsible for balancing within their own portfolio) are responsible for purchasing (including abroad, where applicable) the energy needed to supply their customers. Consequently, the situation for winter 2012-2013 is considered satisfactory, albeit with a moderate risk of a power failure if there is a major cold snap across all of Europe combined with no wind or solar power. Elia works with the authorities in ensuring balance between generation and consumption, as well as with the distribution system operators and the relevant market players. On 3 December, Elia


will add an indicator to its homepage showing the balance between supply and demand in Belgium. The indicator will use traffic light colours (green, orange, red) to reflect the situation for today and tomorrow and will also give a 5-day forecast. About Elia: The Elia Group is organised around two electricity transmission system operators: Elia Transmission in Belgium and (in cooperation with Industry Funds Management) 50Hertz Transmission, one of the four German transmission system operators, active in the north and east of Germany. With more than 1,700 employees and a transmission grid comprising some 13,400 km of high-voltage connections serving 30 million consumers, the Elia Group is one of Europe’s top 5 TSOs. It efficiently, reliably and securely transmits electricity from generators to distribution system operators and major industrial consumers, while also importing and exporting electricity from and to neighbouring countries. The Group is a driving force behind the development of the European electricity market and the integration of energy generated from renewable sources. In addition to its system operator activities in Belgium and Germany, the Elia Group offers businesses a range of consultancy and engineering services. The Group operates under the legal entity Elia System Operator, a listed company whose reference shareholder is municipal holding company Publi-T. For additional information, please contact Elia: Media: Lise Mulpas Axelle Pollet

+32 2 546 73 75 +32 2 546 75 11

+32 478 65 28 90 +32 475 84 38 91

lise.mulpas@elia.be axelle.pollet@elia.be


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