The Belgian Government today announced that Belgium will raise its offshore wind target to 8 GW. That’s up from 5.7 GW under its existing 2030 target.
The announcement is influenced by the ongoing war in Ukraine and its implications for European energy security. It comes a week after the European Union announced its RePowerEU plan to make Europe independent from Russian fossil fuels well before 2030.
“In these extraordinary circumstances Europe now more than ever needs to tap into its renewable energy resources. Speeding up the deployment of cheap and scalable wind energy now is critical to securing our energy security. It’s great to see that countries like Belgium are showing leadership now. Belgium knows how to do offshore wind. They have an exemplary approach to the coexistence of offshore wind with other uses of sea space such as defence, industry and fishery. Their great track record will enable them to deliver on the increased offshore wind target. More countries should follow the Belgian example. We must reduce the EU’s dependency on Russian fossil fuel imports now”, says WindEurope CEO Giles Dickson.
To deliver on the new 8 GW offshore wind energy target, Belgium is planning to repower one of their existing wind farms. Repowering means replacing existing turbines which are often old and less efficient with more efficient turbine models of the latest generation. Belgium would be breaking new ground here. It would be the first time a commercial-scale offshore wind farm gets repowered in Europe.