Belgium, Denmark, Germany and the Netherlands to create EU's largest wind power plant

Belgium, Denmark, Germany and the Netherlands agreed this Wednesday 18 May at the North Sea Summit in the Danish port city of Esbjerg to "join forces" to make the North Sea the largest source of renewable energy in Europe.

During the North Sea Summit, Belgian prime minister Alexander De Croo signed the Esbjerg Declaration on the North Sea as Europe's green energy hub together with his Danish, German and Dutch counterparts.

The four heads of government want to quadruple the combined offshore wind capacity of Belgium, Denmark, Germany and the Netherlands to 65 GW by 2030 and raise it further to at least 150 GW by 2050, making the North Sea Europe's largest renewable energy plant.

De Croo tweeted early in the evening that the initiative is "good for more affordable, secure and sustainable energy".

Energy cooperation

The energy ministers of the four countries also signed a cooperation agreement in Esbjerg. Belgium plans to quadruple offshore wind capacity to nearly 6 GW by 2030 and 8 GW by 2040. 

"Our country also is pioneering the very first hybrid energy island in the North Sea and interconnections with Denmark and the United Kingdom. This should ensure a steady supply of cheap wind energy for our Belgian households and businesses," De Croo's press statement highlights. 

Security issues

The Belgian PM also remarked that the Ukraine crisis underscores the importance for European countries to step up their own energy production. 

"By investing more in renewable, we not only become less dependent on others, we will also better protect our citizens and businesses from high prices and work towards a liveable environment. This agreement positions Belgium as one of the leading European countries that are also linking the shift to locally generated renewable energy to successful industrial policy," states the text.

Belgian energy minister Tinne Van der Straeten underlined that "energy supply is being weaponised" and "families and businesses are slapped with record bills". 

"This green acceleration allows us to replace gas and oil, especially from Russia, with offshore wind and green hydrogen more quickly. This helps us increase our energy independence, lower our bills and reduce CO2 emissions," considered Van der Straeten.

Economic return

Belgium has become one of the world leaders in offshore wind energy. In 10 years’ time, Belgium became number two worldwide in terms of offshore capacity per capita, behind Denmark but ahead of the United Kingdom, the Netherlands and Germany.

"Many Belgian companies have become world leaders in wind energy and are helping to build large wind farms in countries such as Scotland, France and the United States," highlights De Croo's press release.

The wind energy industry already accounts for 14,000 jobs today. By 2030, the government expects that a further 10,000 new jobs will be added. 







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