Belgian wind farms delivers 8% of electricity in 2021

In 2021, a total of 399 offshore wind turbines spread over 9 zones produced approximately 6.77 TWh. This corresponds to the annual electricity demand of almost 2 million households, or 8% of the total electricity demand in Belgium according to Belgian Offshore Platform.

Last year was the first year in which the offshore wind energy zone, located between 23 and 54 km from the coast, was fully operational. As of the end of 2020, the operational wind capacity in the Belgian North Sea amounts to 2,262 MW.

High electricity production was recorded in February, March and April, as well as in October 2021. During the summer months of 2021, there was less electricity generation in the North Sea.

The capacity factor, or production factor, was 34.4% in 2021. This is lower than the average capacity factor for offshore wind in the Belgian North Sea, which is around 38%. The lower capacity factor for offshore wind in 2021 was attributed to lower wind speeds in 2021 compared to the previous year.

The turbines were running and producing electricity for about 90% 2021. In June this proportion was 79%, while in November, the turbines operated 96% of the time.

Despite the drop in wind speed, wind farms exceeded the 2020 production record (6.73 TWh) in 2021, as the wind turbines installed in spring and autumn 2020 were for the first time operational during the full year.

In 2022, there will be no new wind farms in the Belgian North Sea. The federal government is working on an amendment to the legislative framework for the tender for up to 3.5 GW of additional offshore wind capacity in the new offshore wind zone, the Princess Elisabeth area. When these new wind farms can become fully operational depends on the federal government for the legislation surrounding the tender procedure, and on the grid operator that must be able to guarantee the connection to the onshore grid.

According to current plans, the announcement of the winners of the tender is expected in 2024 and 2026. The first wind farm with a capacity of 700 MW could be connected by the end of 2026. The following farms could be connected from the beginning of 2028.

For more information on offshore wind farms worldwide, click here. Alternatively, you can view projects across the globe using 4C Offshore's Interactive Map.