Belgium: Offshore Wind Farms Break Record
Offshore wind farms in the Belgium North Sea had a record winter when it comes to electricity production.
According to the Belgian Offshore Platform, during the Nov 2019 – March 2020 winter period, offshore wind farms in Belgium produced 60% more electricity compared to the 2019 winter. This winter the wind farms produced 3.2 TWh, compared to 2 TWh in 2019.
Due to rapidly advancing technology and new wind farm installations, winter production will also increase next year and will continue to make an increasingly significant contribution towards peak winter consumption. A 25% (4 TWh) increase in electricity generation is expected next winter, the Belgian Offshore Platform said.
According to the industry organization, offshore wind energy covered ±9% of total electricity demand, which represents a 50% increase over the annual average in 2019.
"Each year, wind farms in the Belgian part of the North Sea generate an above-average amount of green electricity in winter. The wind turbine capacity factor, i.e. the ratio of the energy actually produced to the energy that the wind turbine can produce at full capacity, reaches its peak during the winter months when electricity demand is also highest," the BOP explains.
Between the beginning of November 2019 and the end of March 2020, the 6 wind farms in the Belgian part of the North Sea produced an average of 639-gigawatt hours (GWh) of electricity per month, which is 45% more than the average for the rest of the year.
February 2020 was a record month with a production of 803 GWh thanks to exceptionally favorable wind conditions during this stormy month. During the winter storms Ciara and Dennis, the majority of the wind turbines continued to produce electricity.
On February 29, 2020, a production record was reached with 36 GWh of green electricity generated in the Belgian North Sea, representing 14.5% of Belgium’s total electricity consumption on that day.
“This seasonal increase in wind generation is well aligned with the increase in electricity demand in winter”, says Annemie Vermeylen, BOP’s secretary-general. “Offshore wind farms produce more during the periods in the year when we need electricity the most.”