With a 2,262 MW production capacity , the Belgian offshore wind sector makes a significant and guaranteed contribution towards security of supply. Those 2,262 MW produce an average 8 TWh annually. This meets no less than 10 % of Belgium’s total electricity requirements or almost 50% of the requirements of Belgian household consumers.
Today, there are 399 electricity-producing wind turbines in the Belgian part of the North Sea, giving an installed capacity of 2,262 MW. Eight farms – C-Power (325 MW), Belwind (171 MW), Northwind (216 MW), Nobelwind (165 MW), Rentel (309 MW), Norther (370 MW), Northwester II (219 MW) and SeaMade (487 MW) – are already supplying electricity to Belgian users.
After 2020, offshore wind energy capacity in the Belgian North Sea can be further developed to 4.5 GW.
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.