“We think we can meet the objectives to which we have committed ourselves” in the area of renewable energy, said Federal Energy Minister Marie Christine Marghem in Belgium’s Parliament on Thursday.
She was responding to a question from Groen parliamentarian Tine Van der Straeten regarding reports that Belgium was lagging behind in this regard.
Le Soir and De Morgen reported on Thursday morning, based on information from Ecolo-Groen, that Belgium would not meet the goal of increasing the share of renewable sources in its energy consumption to 13%, a target set by Europe as part of its climate-change and clean-energy efforts.
In calculating her 2020 projections, Minister Marghem had, in fact, included the use of three offshore windmill parks which will only be completely operational in 2021, according to an Economic Affairs Department report seen by the Greens.
The minister refuted the claims at a plenary session of parliament. “The year 2020 has only just begun and by the end of the year, we should be able to see what the strength of the winds will be as well as household consumption,” she argued.
“Three more wind-energy parks are under completion,” Marghem added. “The first one will be operational in the second quarter and the last two should be in service at the end of the year, so we believe we can meet the goals to which we’ve committed ourselves.”
“Compare our 2015 projections and this last report based on the hypotheses,” the minister urged. “You will notice a 2% difference.”
Marghem also disclosed that she was in contact with Elia, Belgium’s electricity-generation operator, and promotors to install other windmill parks in the North Sea as quickly as possible.