Wind turbines in the North Sea: the five things to know

The Belgian Offshore Platform, the structure that brings together the most important partners that invest in offshore wind energy in the Belgian North Sea, did not broadcast further on the event on Friday: the fifth national offshore wind farm is now two thirds operational. Riep Rentel, the park about 40 km from Ostend, increases the total wind capacity in the Belgian sea to 1,119 megawatts (MW). For a number of years, our country has been in the top five of European countries that produce the most energy. We take stock of:

5% of the total energy consumption in Belgium

With a total wind capacity in the Belgian Sea of ​​1,199 megawatts (MW), it is no less than one million households that can be provided in electricity. This represents a quarter of the families in the country. A lot of? "Households in Belgium account for 25% of the electricity consumed, which represents 4 to 5% of electricity consumption – one million people seem to do a lot, but you have to look at the number behind it. it is currently producing just as much energy as a nuclear reactor such as Doel 4. We are talking about power, not about capacity over the year.Unlike Doel 4 there are times of lower production because of the lack of wind ", nuance Damien Ernst , specialist energy issues at uLiège. However, three wind farms with better turbines will be added over the next three years, which will double the capacity. And will soon meet almost 10% of the country's needs. "10% is still not that bad!" adds the expert from Liège. "

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<h2><span style= A sector that generates employment

The Belgian Offshore Platform promises in any case: the growth of the wind energy sector should generate between 15,000 and 16,000 direct and indirect jobs between 2010 and 2030 in Belgium, Europe and internationally. Every sector is nevertheless a source of jobs and it is difficult to know exactly the number of jobs. the sector, this booming industry creates jobs in all areas of activity such as research, development, construction of foundations and shipping wind turbines and their maintenance Jobs which are therefore largely qualified.

Belgium in the world top

It is rare enough to be underlined: our country does not currently take the top of football, but also offshore wind generation. Belgium is in sixth place in the world for installed offshore capacity and fourth in capacity per capita. Excuse the little bit! "We could soon finish in the top 3 in terms of production in Europe We can be really proud," enthusiastically for his part the Secretary of State for the North Sea Philippe De Backer (Open VLD).

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<h2><span style= A little known wind farm

Who knows that Belgium has such an important offshore wind farm? The question has already been answered and if the Belgian Offshore Platform (BOP) this Friday on the beach of Ostend has made 15,000 paper mills together with the number "1,000,000" (for a million delivered households), it is precisely to make the general public aware of offshore wind energy. "Because wind farms are located at a great distance from the coast, few people realize that we already produce a large amount of water. green electricity in the Belgian North Sea.

Very expensive energy to produce

It is perhaps not a good news that Belgium is so well positioned for wind energy on the coast. In cause: the very high installation costs. This is what Damien Ernst explains. "Is it good or bad news to rank so well in the rankings? I'm not sure if it's that good, why, because we're probably going too far and going too fast and we've paid too much. Wind turbines are 120 euros per megawatt hour, now prices for offshore, we think that when we reach 2020, it will go down to 40 or 50 euros per megawatt hour.The fact that we are so fast means that we have paid much more, "explains the specialist. "It left less money for something else for the energy transition, I think for the planet, for the climate, for CO2 emissions, knowing that you're working on a constant budget, it's sometimes better to postpone investments. Waiting for the prices to fall and then to buy and you can buy three times more As far as the sector is concerned, we are well aware of the high costs of this energy (whose costs are borne by the taxpayer) but it is stated that [offshore] offshore wind has many advantages, that they are environmental or socio-economic. "

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