Brussels, 7 December 2018 – The federal government approves the North Sea plan proposed by Secretary of State De Backer.
The Belgian Offshore Platform (BOP), the organisation representing the wind energy sector in the North Sea, is pleased to note the new zones for offshore wind energy. More offshore wind energy is good for the energy supply, for the environment and the climate, and for the economy. These new zones for wind farms will soon enable Belgium to produce 20% of its overall electricity requirement offshore.
There are three good reasons to engage further with offshore wind energy:
1. Energy supply
Belgium already has 1,186 MW of wind energy in its North Sea waters, enough to meet about 5% of the country’s total demand for electricity. By 2020, 2,262 MW of wind energy capacity will be operational at sea, which will satisfy 10% of Belgium’s electricity requirement. The advantage of offshore wind energy lies in its being a large-scale generation of renewable energy that produces at full power primarily in winter, when the demand for electricity peaks.
2. Nature, environment and climate
The effect of wind farms on the marine environment has been studied by independent scientists over the past 10 years. The research results reveal that this new activity in the North Sea has a positive impact on the marine ecosystem, including an increase in marine biodiversity, recovery of the seabed and an increase in certain species of fish. But the great environmental benefit of offshore wind energy is of course the fact that it produces no greenhouse gases, no fine dust particles and no waste.
3. Economy and export
Finally, further engagement with this technology also represents an economic opportunity. This new sector creates significant new employment (up to 16,000 jobs), delivers considerable added value and has a positive effect on Belgium’s trade balance.
“We cannot be deaf and blind to citizens’ calls for an effective and decisive climate policy. Offshore wind energy is a carbon-neutral and cost-effective means of generating electricity,” says Annemie Vermeylen of the Belgian Offshore Platform. “The offshore wind-energy sector stands ready to develop even faster and even more efficient wind farms in the new zones.”
For more info:
Annemie Vermeylen, Secretary-General, +32 (0)478 500 115 – firstname.lastname@example.org