Belgium global market leader for offshore wind energy

19/10/2018

Belgium has long cherished the ambition to transfer to energy from sustainable sources. The six offshore wind farms in the North Sea are clear evidence of this. And, if all goes well, the seventh, Northwester 2, will be entirely operational by the beginning of 2020.

There are already five wind farms in the North Sea, of which four fully-operational and one semi-operational, with a total of 274 wind turbines and providing energy for 1 million Belgian families. Work is already underway on the sixth. In May 2019, the construction of wind farm number seven, Northwester 2, can start 50 km off the coast of Ostend. 23 Danish MHI Vestas wind turbines are to be installed, each with a rotor diameter of 164 metres, a height of 220 metres - twice as high as the Atomium - and a capacity of 9.5 megawatts. This makes them the largest and most powerful in the world, and therefore a first for our country. The new wind farm is to provide 'blue' green energy for 220,000 families. All of the planned wind farms must be ready in order to achieve the Kyoto objectives at the end of 2020.

The funding is already secured, according to the operator Parkwind. At a total of 700 million euros, co-CEO François Van Leeuw claims that Northwester 2 is the cheapest offshore wind farm in Europe. Almost 7/10 comes from loans, the remaining 3/10 is from the European Investment Bank.

And there's more: the objective is to achieve the production of 4 GW energy on the North Sea, as much as a large nuclear power station, and Belgium even wishes to use its wind turbines for export.