2019: a record year for wind energy in the Belgian part of the North Sea

04/01/2019

Five wind farms with a total capacity of 1,186 MW are currently operating in the Belgian part of the North Sea: C-Power, Belwind, Northwind, Nobelwind and Rentel. In 2018, these farms produced 3,408 gigawatt hours of electricity. This corresponds to the annual electricity consumption of around a million Belgian families.

To celebrate this key milestone of 2018, 800 Belgians were invited to visit the 274 wind turbines located in the Belgian waters of the North Sea. Here is a short video impression of this trip.

A sixth offshore wind project, Norther (370 MW) – currently in the final phase of construction – will begin producing electricity in the second half of 2019. When this wind farm comes into service, the addition of this important producer of offshore wind energy will increase the level of output to 1,556 MW. This will mean an annual production of up to 4,500 gigawatt hours in the Belgian waters of the North Sea, corresponding to the electricity consumption of around 1,300,000 families.

Northwester 2, a wind farm with a capacity of 219 MW, will start constructing wind turbine foundations in the first half of 2019. The Seamade project, which took its final investment decision in December 2018 for what will be the biggest wind farm to date (487 MW), will start the construction of foundations in the second half of the year.

Offshore wind energy is responsible for a considerable share of Belgium’s green electricity supply. Currently, the Belgian wind farms in the North Sea are already producing a quarter of the country’s green electricity. By 2020, offshore wind will be capable of guaranteeing half of the green electricity supply.

“2018 was a historic year for offshore wind in Belgium. The mark of more than 1,000 MW of offshore production capacity was exceeded, putting Belgium back in the global top 5 of the offshore wind industry,” says Jaak Rutten, CEO of C-Power and Chair of the Belgian Offshore Platform (BOP); “Belgium is therefore out-performing the Netherlands, which produces less electricity in the North Sea despite their maritime area being so much larger!”

“It is important for Belgium to engage further and invest in local and climate-friendly production capacity: the offshore wind farms form an essential cornerstone of our energy transition,” adds Annemie Vermeylen, Secretary-General of the BOP; “The offshore wind industry is also creating a great deal of added value for the Belgian economy by improving our trade balance and creating employment: up to 16,000 jobs in the Belgian companies that are active within this sector.”

By 2020, the eight offshore wind farms will have a total capacity of 2,262 MW. Their annual production is estimated at 8 TWh, which is around 10% of the total demand for electricity within Belgium or half of the electricity consumption by families.

Wind farms in the Belgian part of the North Sea: Wind farms under construction
– C-Power (2009): 325 MW
– Belwind (2010): 171 MW
– Northwind (2014): 216 MW
– Nobelwind (2017): 165 MW
– Rentel (2018): 309 MW
– Norther (2019): 370 MW
– Northwester 2 (2020): 219 MW
– Seamade (2020): 487 MW

Status of offshore wind farms in the Belgian part of the North Sea on 1 January 2019


For more info:
Annemie Vermeylen, Secretary-General, +32 (0)478 500 115 – av@belgianoffshoreplatform.be