Offshore wind energy acknowledges the new state support mechanism but regrets a continuing lack of clarity on a number of key issues


Brussels, 20 November 2015: The government has today reached agreement about the reform of the state support mechanism for offshore wind. With this agreement, the sector hopes it will be possible to quickly develop a clear, stable and long-term legal framework for the five Belgian wind parks that are planned for completion by 2020. At the same time, the sector is disappointed that a number of important matters still remain unclear, including the connection of these parks to the transmission grid.

The Belgian Offshore Platform (BOP), the association of investors in offshore wind, has acknowledged the agreement relating to the state support mechanism for the five planned offshore wind turbine parks. Notwithstanding the numerous independent studies carried out in recent years, which have consistently shown that there was no question of any ‘over-subsidizing’ for wind parks, the government has nevertheless decided to once again amend the mechanism, which has resulted in a high degree of legal uncertainty. It is precisely because of concern on this point that the sector was yet again willing to lend its full and transparent cooperation to the amendment process.

The BOP finds it regrettable that numerous amendments of the support mechanism have already been implemented in recent years and hopes that the agreement reached today will finally guarantee a stable legal framework within which the remaining planned offshore wind projects can be brought to a successful conclusion without any further unnecessary delays.

Sadly, however, the BOP is once again forced to conclude that a number of uncertainties still remain; particularly in matters relating to the connection to the transmission grid. The members of the BOP therefore urgently urge the government to clarify these uncertainties in the very near future, following careful consultation with all the relevant parties. It goes without saying that the sector will lend its full support to these consultations.

The investors will analyze the concrete impact of the latest amendments on the support for future investments, in order to ensure that the necessary rate of return on such high-risk projects remains a realistic possibility.