Large electricity surpluses in Belgium expected this weekend due to strong winds

Strong winds in Belgium this weekend will provide a surplus of electricity, resulting in several generators producing less energy. The nuclear power plant Tihange 3 will also run at a lower level.

High-voltage operator Elia warned that electricity surpluses could be high this summer with a need for exports of up to 7.5 gigawatts. Especially on summer weekends, there is much less demand for electricity, while windmills and solar panels produce it in abundance.

This has already come into effect for this weekend. "There is a lot of wind tomorrow. If we do nothing, we could theoretically be left with surpluses of up to 7,000 megawatts at certain hours. But we see that our warning has had an effect," an Elia spokesperson said, referring to the warning the company gave on Thursday and Friday.

"Because of the increasing production of solar and wind energy, it is happening more and more often"

Producers have already planned to shut down production due to the forecast unfavourable electricity prices for several hours of the day. This could include offshore wind farms. As a result, expected surpluses have already fallen to 4,500 megawatts. These quantities can be exported to France and the Netherlands.

One of the producers that will yield less electricity is Engie. The Tihange 3 nuclear reactor will be modulated, meaning production will be reduced. "Between 11.00 and 18.00, we will produce a quarter less," said a spokesperson. "This is not the first time we have done this this year. Because of the increasing production of solar and wind energy, it is happening more and more often."

Elia does not rule out the possibility of market players switching off additional generators on Saturday. In an emergency, it could intervene if necessary.

Several wind turbines built by the ENECO consortium off Ostend © PHOTO ERIC FEFERBERG / AFP

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