Grid operator to invest almost 10bn euros in Belgian infrastructure
High-voltage operator Elia plans to invest 9.4 billion euros in Belgium between 2024 and 2028, according to an update of the group's investment plans. Most of this will be spent on the Princess Elisabeth energy island off the Belgian coast, but Elia will also invest in the construction of the Ventilus and Boucle-du-Hainaut high-voltage lines.
It has already been announced that Elia will invest 6.4 billion euors in the high-voltage grid in the regulated period 2024-2027. For the 2024-2028 period, this figure rises to 9.4 billion. "This is mainly due to an additional year of high investments in 2028 and higher costs due to shortage problems and inflation on some major projects," the group said.
The investments are needed to strengthen Belgium's electricity grid as the country becomes increasingly electrified. Electricity consumption by businesses alone is expected to increase by 50 per cent by 2030, while the number of electric cars and heat pumps is set to rise steadily.
Elia's plans come at a cost to consumers. The federal energy regulator, CREG, approved Elia's new transmission tariffs earlier this month. The tariffs will increase by an average of 77 per cent over the 2024-2027 tariff period.
Elia's planned investments in Germany, where it also builds and operates the high-voltage grid, will reach 20.7 billion euros over the next five years. Germany is facing a huge acceleration in investment, including in new wind farms, and aims to be carbon neutral by 2045.
© BELGA PHOTO DIRK WAEM