Electric transition: Fluvius to invest additional €4 billion in Flemish power grid
Grid manager Fluvius is going to invest an extra 4 billion euros in the Flemish electricity grid over the next ten years, in order to make it future-proof with the arrival of more electric cars and heat pumps. The investment comes on top of the regular planned investments of 7 billion euros, the company announced on Wednesday at a press conference.
The cost of the additional investments will eventually be passed on to the end consumer but according to Jean Pierre Hollevoet, responsible for energy transition at Fluvius, should be limited to a 10 percent increase in the technical component of distribution tariffs by 2032. "At the current rates, this corresponds to an additional cost of about 25 euros per year for an average family", he said on Wednesday.
As part of the the plan, some 30.000 kilometres or 40 percent of the operator's low-voltage grid is set to be upgraded or reinforced, as would 6.000 kilometres or 13 percent of the medium-voltage grid (important for industry, ed.) and one-third or 22.450 kilometres of the distribution cabins.
Without flanking measures such as the digital meter and the so-called 'capacity tariff', meant to limit peak consumption on the grid, the cost of necessary investments is likely to double by 2050.
Doing nothing is not an option, Fluvius stressed, because inaction would bring with it the threat of power cuts. At the same time, the system operator stressed the importance of flanking measures such as the introduction of the digital meter and the so-called 'capacity tariff', meant to limit peak consumption on the grid. Without these measures, the cost of necessary investments is likely to double by 2050.
On the other hand, investments in the gas network will be cut by about half (88 million euros per year, ed.). Fluvius does not want to expand its gas network, but above all to guarantee its safety and reliability.
Fluvius' investment plan accounts for 1,5 million electric cars by 2030, 12 percent of buildings to be heated by a heat pump, and many more solar panels and wind turbines. The investment plan was drawn up for ten years, but is to be evaluated annually.
The plans are available for consultation at www.fluvius.be/investeringsplan. A public consultation will take place in the coming weeks, during which stakeholders can give their comments.
© BELGA PHOTO ERIC LALMAND