For Belgium, the only way out of the energy crisis is structural energy saving and a greater commitment to renewable energy. Sun in the summer and wind in the winter can help citizens and companies achieve more energy autonomy and thus contribute to structural control of energy costs.
For the second autumn in a row, our country is in the middle of an energy crisis that threatens the prosperity of companies and citizens. Unlike other European countries such as Denmark, the Netherlands, Norway and the United Kingdom, Belgium does not have its own underground energy sources such as gas and oil, but does have above-ground, inexhaustible energy sources, namely sun and wind.
The best wind climate in our country can be found on the North Sea. That is why the federal government has been focusing on this renewable and safe source of energy since 2000. Offshore wind energy is a climate-friendly, affordable, quickly achievable and safe technology that works with a free local resource, the North Sea wind.
Since end 2020, 7% of the Belgian sea area is being used to generate green electricity, covering approximately 10% of the country’s electricity consumption on an annual basis.
For some years now, new areas in the North Sea have been ready for additional offshore wind capacity. This means that the North Sea could soon cover about a quarter of Belgium’s total electricity consumption.
What is needed to build new offshore wind farms?
- The federal government must decide quickly on the legislative framework for the new offshore zones;
- The Flemish and Walloon governments must quickly decide how and where the reinforcement of the high-voltage grids (Ventilus and Boucle du Hainaut) on land can be planned;
- The high-voltage grid operator must accelerate the connection to the grid;
If these three conditions are met, the Belgian offshore wind industry can ensure that new wind farms are built quickly and efficiently so that more North Sea wind is converted into 100% Belgian electricity.
That is why we call on the federal, Flemish and Walloon governments, as well as the grid operator, to work with accelerated or emergency procedures so that citizens and companies can quickly count on energy ‘made in Belgium’.
Let the energy crisis be an opportunity for the acceleration of the energy transition, especially an acceleration of offshore wind in the North Sea, and for more energy independence for our country.
Belgian offshore wind farm developers: C-Power, Norther, Otary, Parkwind
BOP members: Aspiravi Offshore, DEME, Elicio, Eneco, Eoly, Green Offshore, Meewind, Ocean Winds, Power at Sea, RWE, Socofe, SRIW, Z-kracht