Elia, the high-voltage operator, has outlined plans to invest 9.4 billion euros in Belgium from 2024 to 2028, as revealed in the updated investment blueprint of the organization. The bulk of this

substantial investment will be directed toward the Princess Elisabeth energy island situated off the Belgian coastline. Elia intends to allocate funds towards the development of the Ventilus and Boucle-du-Hainaut high-voltage lines as well.

Previously announced projections indicated Elia's investment of 6.4 billion euros in the high-voltage grid for the regulated period spanning 2024 to 2027. However, the newly revised figures for 2024 to 2028 show a substantial increase to 9.4 billion euros. The surge primarily arises from extended high investment in 2028 and escalated costs linked to scarcity issues and inflation affecting significant projects, according to Elia's statement.

These investments are critical to fortify Belgium's electricity grid as the nation undergoes a growing electrification process. By 2030, it's estimated that business-related electricity consumption will surge by 50 percent, accompanied by a steady rise in the adoption of electric vehicles and heat pumps.

Nevertheless, Elia's expansive plans carry implications for consumers. The recent approval of Elia's transmission tariffs by the federal energy regulator, CREG, will result in an average tariff hike of 77 percent during the 2024-2027 tariff period.

Beyond Belgium, Elia is also poised for significant investments in Germany, where it manages the high-voltage grid. The planned investments in Germany over the next five years are set to reach 20.7 billion euros. Germany, driven by an ambitious agenda including the development of new wind farms, aims to achieve carbon neutrality by 2045, necessitating a substantial acceleration in infrastructure investment. Photo by Stefan Andrej Shambora (St_A_Sh), Wikimedia commons.