Belgium outlines new marine spatial plan

The Belgian government has drawn up a brochure summarising marine plans for 2020-2026 which includes new zones for offshore wind energy.

The Federal government publishes a MSP every six years to tackle shared usage of the Belgian North Sea for nature conservation, green energy, shipping, fishing, sand extraction, defence and so many more activities.


The new plan for 2020-2026 came into force on 20th March 2020 and includes:
  • a second zone for offshore energy
  • an extra nature reserve on the Dutch border
  • three new search zones for soil protection measures
  • five specific zones within which commercial and industrial activities can be developed


Three new areas have been designated in the 2020-2026 plan for offshore wind development: Fairybank; Noordhinder North; Noordhinder South. These new zones cover a total area of 285 km² and have been named wind zones Princess Elisabeth. Belgium is due to meet its target of 2.3 GW of offshore wind capacity in 2020 and the new zones will add a further 1.7 GW with the Minister of the North Sea, Philippe De Backer expecting to launch tenders in 2023.

Philippe De Backer: “Belgium was a pioneer with an initial marine spatial plan and we are now also the first to review this plan. It has been a long but fascinating process in which the balance between economy, ecology and safety was central. I would therefore like to thank all stakeholders, citizens and organizations for their constructive contribution to this process and I am satisfied that with this new marine spatial plan the North Sea can further develop in the field of blue economy, with respect for the marine environment and the protected Natura. 2000 nature reserves. ”



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