SUPPORTING POLICIES FOR OCEAN ENERGY
Belgium has to increase its share of renewable energy production to 13% of the total consumption by 2020. This share has been growing steadily in the last year. Main incentives aim at wind energy (onshore and offshore), biomass, biogas and solar energy. The offshore wind energy concessions in the Belgian North Sea will have the biggest impact on renewables, leading up to a total of ± 2400 MW of offshore wind power by 2020.
MAIN SUPPORT INITIATIVES
A green energy certificate market is implemented to support renewable energy production with Tradable Green Certificates (TGC). For each renewable technology, a stakeholder analysis is put forward to determine the level of support. A generic business case is constructed with input of the developer, the technology supplier, investors, banks. This exercise will determine the cost of the renewable electricity and the matching value of the TGC in €/MWh. The business case is frequently updated in order to align the new TGC support with the technology evolution.
NATIONAL SEA TEST FACILITIES
A test facility was implemented at approximately 1 km from the Harbour of Ostend. The test facility has easy access for deployment and maintenance from the Harbour of Ostend. Wave riders register the available wave climate, an antenna and camera onshore ensure the data connection and visualisations. Navigation buoys protect the test zone from unwanted marine traffic. There is no grid connection installed. There is an interest in installing a monopile structure at the test site, as a monitoring hub and foundation basis for several renewable energy projects.
LICENSING AND ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT ASSESSMENT
The Belgian maritime spatial plan foresees an area for the ‘exploitation for offshore wind, wave and tidal energy. This area has been divided into 7 zones for which the Government has given concessions for alternative energy project development. The last concession (±55 km from the coast) was granted in July 2012 to the temporary trading company Mermaid. This Mermaid concession zone aims at the installation of 266 MW wind and 5 MW wave energy (rated power). This hybrid park has a water depth of 35-40 m and an average wave climate of 6.5 kW/m. The project is planned to be finished by 2020.
RELEVANT DOCUMENTS RELEASED
The BOREAS final report that describes the assessment of the wave and tidal energy potential in the Belgian North Sea is available online (www.belspo.be).