A critical analysis of the ELIA CRM attribution report

We are concerned that only 1900 MW of new units were allocated during the first round for the Capacity Remuneration Mechanism (CRM, a strategy by the Belgian government to guarantee long term energy supply). This number stands in contrast to the 3600 MW that Elia had recommended in its "Adequacy" report. What is more, the construction of the new gas-fired power stations will take at least 3 years. And that is not even taking into account construction delays! We will therefore certainly run out of energy as soon as the first nuclear power plant closes in November 2022!

Given the additional capacity requested by Elia (3600 MW), the second call for tenders should be larger than that of 2021, and will not provide operational capacities until well after 2025. But by that time, all the reactors will have been shut down!

Elia is also counting on the continuous import of large quantities of electricity from our European partners. Imports for which we are also wondering if our electricity network is indeed capable of absorbing. Even worse, Elia recognizes that our neighboring countries themselves will experience scarceness in electricity production in the near future!

In conclusion, from the attribution report it is clear that our electricity supply is absolutely not guaranteed! Extending the lifetime of several nuclear power plants is therefore essential!

We also noticed in the "Adequacy" report that the Belgian electricity needs over time are minimized and are not in line with forecasts of electricity needs generally adopted by experts from foreign networks (replacement of coal, oil, electricity and gas to achieve CO2 neutrality in all uses of electrical energy).

References to gas and coal prices are also minimized and already out of touch with the current situation. The same is true of the price of the carbon tax (1/3 of the prospective costs!).

Elia recognizes between the lines that wind power and solar power alone cannot meet minimum Belgian needs. In addition to the investments in gas power stations, Belgium must consider energy imports, and in particular nuclear electricity from our European neighbors. We are delighted that, like us, Elia does not envision a network supplied mainly by renewables without a consistent base load.

Finally, the ELIA project does not provide any estimate of the costs relating to palliative tools, network reinforcement, or the financial scale of a "black out". We also believe that by limiting its future horizon to 2032, it does not take the long-term vision that is needed to tackle the energy issues we are facing today.

Can this help you in your debates? Otherwise, we are quite prepared to discuss with you - by video-conference or face-to-face - these points, and help you defend the survival of our common nuclear heritage ;-)

For 100TWh,

Robert, Philippe, Pierre, Ernest, Georges, Serge, Jacques et Henri.

Pdf of the full analysis by 100TWh (French)