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Renewable energy sources have diverse origins, a feature that demands equally diverse technologies to capture them. My interest in these (new) technologies resulted in this blog. If will focus on well developed technologies that are already put into practice, and on promising technologies that are still under development.

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Wednesday, May 23, 2007

First Belgian offshore wind farm

Source: C-Power

Today, the 23th of May 2007, C-Power signed all contracts for the construction and financing of the first phase demonstration project: installing 6 REpower 5M wind turbines and the first 37 km 150 kV sea cable connecting the Thornton bank project to the shore.

The project timing foresees the immediate start of the directional drilling and dune crossing works for the sea cable routing. The preparatory soil improvement works for the construction of the gravity based foundations at the Halve Maan site in the Port of Ostend have also started. As from April 2008 during the good weather season, these gravity based foundations and the wind turbines will be placed at the Thorntonbank site. In June and July 2008 the offshore cable laying works will take place starting from the shore connection point towards the first offshore wind turbine. The first energy production will be injected into the grid by the end of September 2008.

This wind farm with a total installed capacity of 300 MW will produce about 1000 GWh/year, sufficient to provide 600.000 inhabitants with renewable energy. This will result in a reduction of CO2 emissions equivalent to 450.000 ton/year. Have a look at this applet !

To meet the European target for renewable energy, Belgium aims to generate 6% of its electricity from renewable energy sources by 2010. In this way it can fulfil its Kyoto obligation. This means that Belgium must generate a further 4% of "green electricity" or about 3.2 TWh by 2010. At present wind energy is capable of making the most economical and realistic contribution towards achieving this desired increase in renewable energy sources.

The C-Power project on the Thornton bank will have an installed capacity of 300 Megawatt, which corresponds to an estimated annual electricity production of 986.1 GWh or approximately 1 TWh. The total energy production in Belgium is approximately 87 TWh per year, and at present only 3,2% of this total is generated from renewable sources.

This means that Belgium must generate a further 2,8% of "green electricity" or about 2,5 TWh by 2010. Compare this target with the approximately 1 TWh expected to be generated by C-Power on the Thornton bank. The conclusion is clear: the C-Power project on the Thornton bank represents 40% of the total Belgian obligation that has to be realized by 2010.

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