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Optimization of basic knowledge of offshore energy on the Belgian Continental Shelf

Dutch title: Optimalisering van de basiskennis over het energiepotentieel op het Belgisch continentaal plat.
Period: June 2008 till June 2009
Status: Completed
 Institutes | Publication 

Institutes (3)  Top | Publication 
  • Universiteit Gent; Faculteit Ingenieurswetenschappen en Architectuur; Vakgroep Civiele Techniek; Afdeling Weg- en Waterbouw (AWW), more
  • 3E N.V. : Electrical Engineering and Equipment Company, more
  • Belgian Science Policy (BELSPO), more


The European Directive 2001/77/EC was the first directive to set targets for the use of electricity from renewable sources. For Belgium, the target was set at 6% by 2010. In January 2008, the European Commission launched its new Climate Plan, and a new target for Belgium was set at 13 % by 2020 (IP/08/80). Furthermore, the Commission emphasized that offshore energy can make a significant contribution to all three key objectives of the new Energy Policy: reducing greenhouse gas emissions, ensuring security of supply and improving EU competitiveness (COM 2008/768). In the same document, the Member States were encouraged to fully exploit this source of renewable energy. Despite the fact the Belgian Federal government has taken financial measurements (such as the Tradable Green Certificates for offshore wind), the Belgian share or renewable energy was only 3.9% in 2006, according to Eurostat.

Description of the project

In order to achieve those targets, Belgium needs to speed up the construction of windmill farms. One can point out different barriers, not only technological but also economical, consenting and logistical. This project tries to identify these key barriers. Simultaneously, an assessment of the Belgian knowhow and expertise within stakeholders will be made, and how this knowledge can be used to exploit the offshore wind potential in an efficient and effective way. In the long term, new offshore technologies, such as wave and tidal energy need to be investigated.


1. Assessment of the physical potential of marine energy (wave and tidal) on the Belgian Continental Shelf, incorporating existing spatial marine uses.
2. To identify new and relevant developments in offshore wind energy, within the Belgian context.
3. To determine the Belgian stakeholders regarding offshore wind energy and ways to enhance the communication between these stakeholders
4. To identify the key barriers for the further development of offshore wind energy, and to propose appropriate measures.

Expected results and products

1. Map of the physical potential of wind, wave and tidal energy on the Belgian Continental Shelf, with a focus on the zone for offshore energy extraction. Existing user functions will be incorporated.
2. An overview of the Belgian companies, research institutes and other associations who can support and develop offshore windmill farms in Belgium.
3. An analysis of the Belgian offshore wind energy policy within a Belgian context.
4. A workshop in order to disseminate the results of this project to the different stakeholders, and allow them to provide feedback on the project.

Publication  Top | Institutes 
  • Mathys, P.; Meirschaert, V.; Portilla, J.; De Rouck, J.; De Volder, G.; Dewilde, L. (2009). OPTIEP-BCP: Optimalisering van de basiskennis over het energiepotentieel op het Belgisch Continentaal Plat (Contract AP/42). Federaal Wetenschapsbeleid: Brussel. XV + 177 pp., more

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