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Wind Energy in Belgium

2020 wind energy numbers

The federal government began planning the first Belgian offshore wind park in the North Sea in 2003, and in 2004 created a 156-km² area in the Belgian exclusive economic zone in international waters for wind parks. The first wind turbines were installed in this area in 2009. At the end of 2020, 399 offshore wind turbines were operational—producing 8 TWh/yr.

Belgium is a frontrunner when installed capacity is considered in relation to the available space, the bathymetry, and the distance from shore. Excellent researchers and research institutions place Belgium as a leader in offshore wind power.

To read more about Belgium’s wind energy sector in 2020, read their chapter in the 2020 Annual Report.

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Megawatt

Total wind power capacity is 4,700 MW.
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Megawatt

Wind power capacity in Belgium increased by 840 MW in 2020.
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Terawatt-time

Belgium produces 12.871 TWh from wind energy, which accounts for 16% of the country’s electricity consumption.

National Targets

In general, Belgium’s renewable energy policy is aligned with the EU 2020 targets. Belgium’s land-based and offshore wind energy developments are essential for both the Belgian and European targets for energy development from renewable sources. For 2020, Belgium has a binding national target for renewable energy equal to 13% of the gross final consumption of energy.

By the end 2020, the total land-based installed capacity in Belgium has reached 3,000 MW, and an additional 2,292 MW are planned offshore for a possible total of 5,292 MW of wind power. Offshore wind alone accounts for 10% of the electricity demand and 8.TWh of electricity or almost 50% of the requirements of Belgian household consumers.

Progress & Operational Details

Offshore wind-generated electricity first began in 2009 and progressed rapidly to a total of 2,262 MW in 2020.

Land-based wind capacity remained low until 2004, when the installed capacity and production started to double year after year from 96 MW in 2004 to 3,000 MW in 2020. Land-based wind is on track to reach its 2020 objectives after much progress during the last few years.

National RDD Priorities and Budget

Several key technologies that Belgium wants to invest in for the future have been put forward via the Steering Group of the SET-Plan.

With some research projects, like GREDOR or SmartWater in the Walloon Region, Belgium is developing services that will ease the future integration of a larger share of wind energy by modernizing the electric grid and offering capacity for clearly tailored storage.

The Flemish Region supports R,D&D in offshore and land-based wind via several projects. In 2020 the cluster IBN Offshore Energy project has initiated, set-up and executed multiple RD&I projects in the field of offshore wind power.

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