This is the fourth day in less than a week with period of high imbalance market prices in Belgium.

While typical forward and spot power prices hoover between 30 and 40 EUR/MWh, we have seen last Wednesday imbalance prices above 300 EUR/MWh for most of the day.

Elia Imbalance Prices on 11/10/2017

Elia Imbalance Prices on 11/10/2017

 

These prices reflect the penalty/extra revenue that “balancing Responsible” parties have to pay.

Who are they ? Guess what?

They are responsible in balancing the real time quantity of energy produced with the one consumed within their perimeter. And when this becomes difficult to do, imbalance prices rise (too much consumption, not enough production) or fall and even can become negative (too much is produced and not enough consumed). This is not unusual for short period of time (one hour or less) such as the evening or morning peak but largely positive imbalance prices for most of the day is rather exceptional.

Why is this happening?

We are seeing on the Belgian grid some congestion issues. A lot of wind is injected, at the same time a lot of energy transits between countries (to and from GE, NL and FR) and this jams the international connections. These days, some flexible generation assets situated in part of the country are forced not to produce (because lines are congested and renewable technologies rank higher in the priority list).

What can we do about this?

If we cannot (or do not wish) increase centralized generation, we can decrease consumption. So consumers that can react real time are essential. This can work for large to mid and even some smaller size customers. NextFlex will aggregate and valorize the flex and activate it at the right time. Many freezers, shredders and other flexible machines when combined become more efficient from an ecological and economical point of view than big and more polluting peak diesel generators.

Let us know if you have a flexible consumption profile. Because stopping a big freezer for an hour or two, slowing down pumps, or postponing the start of a shredder or whatever (and even performing the monthly test of a Diesel Back Up generator on demand instead of the first Thursday of the month at 6 am) will make sense for the electrical power grid. We can help you to help balance the grid, to support the rise of renewable and to make some extra money with this.