The federal government began 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 2017, 232 offshore wind turbines were operational—producing 2,867 TWh/yr and providing electricity for approximately 8,000,000 families.
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. For example, the test zone for the Alstom-Haliade 150-6 MW offshore turbine demonstrates how Belgium’s offshore zones are perfect for research purposes.
To read more about Belgium’s wind energy sector in 2017, read their chapter in the 2017 Annual Report.