Belgium and Norway to work together on green energy and carbon storage

The Belgian and Flemish governments signed energy agreements with Norway on Tuesday during a royal trade mission. The agreements should allow Norwegian wind energy to be brought to Belgium and CO2 from Belgian industry to be stored in Norway.

Federal Energy minister Tinne Van der Straeten signed a joint declaration on energy cooperation in the North Sea with her Norwegian counterpart, Terje Aasland. This should provide political support for a future connection between the Belgian and Norwegian energy grids, including Norwegian offshore wind farms. Belgian and Norwegian grid operators Elia and Statnett are already exploring the possibilities.

Norwegian power will be able to flow into the Belgian grid via the Princess Elisabeth energy island, which is being built off the Belgian coast. Earlier this year, a consortium including Belgian company Parkwind won a contract to develop a 1,500MW wind farm off the Norwegian coast.

"It is important to get more figures on the table showing that this is positive for prosperity in both countries"

“Norway is traditionally a country that was very isolated and could fully meet its own energy needs,” Van Der Straeten said. “But the Norwegian prime minister and the Norwegian grid operator are absolutely convinced of the need for interconnections. It is important to get more figures on the table showing that this is positive for prosperity in both countries.”

CO2 storage was also discussed at the energy summit during the mission to Oslo, led by Princess Astrid. Norway has the possibility to store CO2 in empty gas fields off its coast, creating opportunities for Belgian industrial players to reduce their emissions.

Flemish minister president Jan Jambon and federal North Sea minister Paul Van Tigchelt signed a memorandum of understanding with the Norwegian Energy ministry on the construction of a CO2 transport pipeline from Belgium to Norway. 

Belgian gas grid operator Fluxys and Norway’s Equinor are already preparing the project. The memorandum should eventually lead to a bilateral agreement on the pipeline. 


Tinne Van der Straeten and Princess Astrid of Belgium attend an energy summit in Oslo, 18 June 2024 © BELGA PHOTO BENOIT DOPPAGNE

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