No Dutch electricity supply for Belgium
The Dutch don’t take it that the unused gas power plant on their territory in Maasbracht will be used to produce energy for Belgium alone. Belgium is looking for more energy capacity, and the Dutch power plant seemed to be ideal for it.
Shortage of electricity
The unused power plant in Maasbracht, close to the Belgian border, has a capacity of 1.304 megawatt, which is enough to provide three million families with electricity. The German owner, RWE, has already worked out plans to install a 13 km-long cable from the Dutch Maasbracht to the Belgian Kinrooi.
Belgium has a shortage of electricity. That is why, last winter, the Belgian government even considered the use of power ships.
Certainty of supply
Minister of Energy, Marie-Christine Marghem (MR), now has worked out a capacity mechanism. It has to make sure that a power plant is stand-by when there is no sun or wind. RWE’s Claus power plant would be a potential provider of electricity; it only needs to be restarted, and a connection has to be made with the Belgian grid, but, according to the Dutch newspaper De Volkskrant, the Dutch government is angry about those plans.
So, the Dutch Minister of Economic Affairs and Climate, Eric Wiebes (VVD), wrote a letter to his Belgian colleague, stating that Maasbracht cannot be connected to the Belgian grid because it endangers the certainty of supply for The Netherlands. The country wants to reduce its CO2 emissions and to close its nuclear power plants by 2030, but it, therefore, needs a valuable alternative for windless and cloudy days.
Belgium now says it will respect Minister Wiebes’ message, and the country is willing to start talks with both Minister Wiebes and grid manager Elia.