Belgium looks at 8GW of offshore wind

BELGIUM: Belgium has considered the possibility of developing 8GW of offshore wind as part of a report examining how the country could supply all primary energy from renewable sources by 2050.

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The  Toward 100% Renewable Energy in Belgium by 2050 report notes that Belgium's offshore wind installed capacity was expected to reach about 380MW by the end of 2012 and it assumes 2.2GW by 2020.

The report also cites a current utilisation rate for offshore turbines in Belgian waters of 3,484 hours of full capacity equivalent.

A wind energy-focused scenario is one of multiple options presented in the report. Compared to other options, the wind focused-strategy – which would also include increases in the use of other renewable sources, including biomass and solar PV - offers several advantages.

A wind-focused strategy would result in the lowest net additional energy sector costs and the highest potential financial gains, should the cost of carbon rise substantially.

Adopting such an approach would also allow Belgium to sharply reduce its energy imports — and its existing national energy bill with it.

This would be achieved despite the fact that the scenario allows for unlimited imports of offshore wind-generated electricity from its neighbours, such as the UK, France, the Netherlands and Germany.

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