Proposed Belgian zone 'too dense', lobbyist claims

BELGIUM: The head of the lobbying group for the Belgian offshore wind industry has criticised government plans for a second offshore zone, claiming it would be too crowded.

The three-phase Thornton Bank project off the coast of West Flanders, Belgium (pic: RWE)

Belgium's North Sea minister Philippe de Backer has announced the government will designate a new 221-square kilometre offshore wind zone close to French waters, according to reports.

This would enable the country to increase its offshore wind capacity from 871MW to 2.2GW by 2020 and 4GW by 2030, de Backer reportedly claimed.

But Annemie Vermeylen, the secretary general of the Belgian Offshore Platform (BOP), told Windpower Monthly the new zone falls short of the 400-square kilometres that the group had requested to facilitate this offshore expansion.

She added: "We think the spatial component of this post-2020 development (will create) a too high park density, and that is not a good thing if you want the lowest possible cost per megawatt-hour and if you want to produce an optimal configuration for park density.

"We will see the impact of wake effect because it is a very dense zone."