In its efforts to combat global warming, in 2009 Europe drew up a set of targets to be met by all member states of the Union. This is the so-called 20-20-20 Plan. As far as energy production is concerned, the plan foresees that by 2020 renewable sources will account for 20% of total end consumption.
Belgium was set a target of 13% for the share of renewable sources as a proportion of total net energy consumption. In 2012, this share amounted to just 6.8%.
A stricter climate plan
In January 2014, the European Commission introduced stricter climate and energy objectives. The new policy framework for the period up to 2030 seeks to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 40% (in comparison with 1990) and imposes a binding objective of at least 27% of all energy to be produced by renewable sources.
Impossible without offshore wind
Offshore wind energy is an indispensible element in the Belgian climate plan: without the large wind turbines off our North Sea coast, it will be impossible for Belgium to reach its European targets! Existing and future offshore wind parks are expected to provide no less than 50% of all renewable energy production by 2020.
A study conducted by the independent bureau Futureproofed (commissioned by C-Power) has shown that the CO2 emission produced during the construction and exploitation of a wind park is 'won back' within the first year.
Over its expected operational lifespan of 20 years, a wind turbine park emits 115 times less CO2 than the current Belgian electricity mix and 175 times less than the most modern gas power station.
Recent studies have also shown that wind parks at sea not only offer shelter to various species of fish and other maritime fauna and flora, but also make a positive contribution to the marine environment in general.