With 712 MW of capacity already generated by installed turbines, the Belgian offshore wind sector makes a significant and guaranteed contribution towards security of supply. With the realization of a further five wind parks, the total installed capacity of the wind turbines in the North Sea will increase to more than 2,200 MW. This will meet no less than 10 % of Belgium's total electricity requirements.
With 712 MW of capacity already generated by installed turbines, the Belgian offshore wind sector makes a significant and guaranteed contribution towards security of supply.
With the realization of a further five wind parks - Norther, Seastar, Rentel, Mermaid and Northwester 2 - the total installed capacity of the wind turbines in the North Sea will increase to more than 2,200 MW. This will meet no less than 10 % of Belgium's total electricity requirements or almost 50% of the requirements of Belgian household consumers.
At the start of 2017, there are 183 electricity-producing wind turbines in the Belgian sector of the North Sea, giving an installed capacity of 712 MW (equivalent to one large electrical power station). Three of the parks - C-Power (325 MW), Belwind (165 MW) and Northwind (216 MW) - are already supplying electricity to Belgian users.
The construction work for Nobelwind (165 MW) was started in 2016. By the middle of 2017, the 50 new wind turbines of the Nobelwind park will provide an additional operational capacity of 165 MW.
By the end of 2017, the Belgian North Sea will be good for a total installed capacity of 877 MW.
In the interests of the Belgian economy, it is crucial that the country's own capacity to produce electricity is further developed, so that security of supply can continue to be guaranteed. Having your own production capacity also guarantees a stable pricing policy (less reliance on imports) and a stable investment climate for Belgian companies. Recent geopolitical tensions in Ukraine, the Middle East and elsewhere have increased concerns about the energy dependency of Europe and Belgium. The European Commission is working on a plan to reduce Europe's dependence on gas imports, in part by further exploiting the potential of renewable (wind) energy.
Risk of black-out
As a result of the recent shut-down of the Doel 3 and Tihange 2 nuclear reactors, the limits of importing electricity from the Netherlands and France were made very clear. In these circumstances, there is a risk of a shortfall in electricity supply, especially during the winter.
In anticipation of the planned decommissioning of Belgium's nuclear power stations after 2025, the challenge of ensuring future electricity supply and preventing a possible black-out is a daunting one. The Federal Planning Agency has calculated that a national power cut of one hour during a working day would result in a total loss to the Belgian economy of ca. 120 million euros.