The Belgian energy supply in question

The issue of energy supply in our country is a theme that continues to make headlines again and again. Do we really need to worry? And what can companies do to anticipate a possible energy crisis? We asked Laurens van Reijen, CEO of LCL.

Do we have to worry about the energy supply in Belgium?
Laurens van Reijen, CEO of LCL: “Due to insufficient investments in power plants and the recent problems with a number of nuclear reactors in Doel and Tihange, our country can no longer provide its own energy supply sufficiently. This increases the chance of power outages. In the past year there have been a number of critical moments in the electricity supply in Belgium. I am thinking of the freezing temperatures in February 2012 when there was a very high demand for energy. During the Pentecost weekend there was the opposite problem: then there was an oversupply of energy and power had to be evacuated abroad. That also entails a risk of power outages. In addition, there was a technical malfunction at Elia on 2 October 2012, as a result of which a quarter of the Belgian power supply was temporarily interrupted. There was also a shortage of energy in recent weeks, especially in the barbaric period around mid-January. It is abundantly clear that Belgium urgently needs a uniform energy policy and a lot more investment. Only in this way can we secure our energy supply in the future. "

What are the possible consequences of a prolonged power outage?
Laurens van Reijen: “A prolonged power outage can result in enormous economic damage: loss of data, technical unemployment, commercial damage, loss of image, and so on. That is why it is important that server rooms and data centers are equipped with diesel generators in order to absorb electricity outages. Without diesel generators, the consequences can be disastrous. "

In what way does LCL anticipate a possible power outage?
Laurens van Reijen: “LCL has UPS systems (Uninterruptible Power Supply) in its three data centers. These provide emergency power supply based on batteries should the electricity fail. Suppose the power cut is of longer duration, then the system automatically switches to our diesel generators. All these installations receive major maintenance before the winter and the diesel generator is supplied with winter fuel. In addition, all our emergency power systems are thoroughly tested every month. "

What tips can you give as a company to be prepared for a possible interruption of the energy supply?
Laurens van Reijen: “Due to the increasing dependence on IT, it is becoming increasingly important to do disaster recovery planning in order to ensure business continuity. Many companies take all their precautions and have emergency power supplies such as a UPS system or generators. That is positive, but the major problem lies with the maintenance and testing of these installations. This is often overlooked, which leads to unpleasant surprises in the event of a power failure. The big advantage of a data center like LCL is that people are constantly working on this, so that you as a company no longer have to consider this problem. For many companies, LCL already functions as a second data center, which functions redundantly with their own data center. Of course, customers can also come to us for a complete solution. LCL has the great advantage that we have several data centers that are connected to each other through fiber optic cable. "