Bart Tommelein, secretary of state for the North Sea, approved the environmental permit for the “Mermaid” wind farm. This is the 8th and last wind farm planned, as well as the furthest from the coast of all the wind farms in the North Sea. A zone has also been set aside for a pilot project on wave energy. Five new projects will be added to the current three wind farms in coming years. The secretary of state is hoping to double the production of energy from the sea in this way. “The 8 wind farms will produce 2,200 MW, as much as 2 nuclear power stations. The North Sea will therefore represent 10% of Belgian energy needs,” explains Bart Tommelein. “This matters both for our energy supply and for our economy. Belgium is a European leader when it comes to offshore energy.”
The Mermaid wind farm also provides a space for another type of energy, produced by waves. A pilot scheme was authorised, whereby convectors will be placed inside the wind turbines, producing up to 5MW in total. “This is a unique project for our country. I think research and development of new forms of energy for the North Sea are crucial. ‘Blue energy’ is at the heart of my policies for the North Sea in coming years,” adds the secretary of state.