WEDNESDAY 13 FEBRUARY, 2013 |
Belgium Powers Ahead With Solar
It may not be the sunniest of nations; but Belgium is currently well ahead of
Australia when it comes to PV solar power capacity per capita.
According to Belgian renewable energy association APERe, the country now boasts 2600 MW
capacity of installed solar panels - enough to provide 14% of the country's
household consumption or 2.8% of its total 80 TWh annual electricity consumption.
Belgium has a population of just 11 million, yet its total solar power capacity
is comparable to that of Australia; which has a population of around 23 million.
Another recent event of note relating to renewable energy in Belgium occurred on
January 31 when wind power provided 12% of the country's electricity consumption.
Currently there are 580 operational wind turbines in Belgium, with a collective capacity of
Belgium also made headlines recently when it announced it was planning to
construct a "battery
"; a horseshoe-shaped artificial island with a three kilometre
diameter to use as an energy storage facility in conjunction with its offshore
Last year, what was at that point the world's largest offshore
(6.15MW) was installed 28 kilometres off the port of Oostende in Belgium.
Belgium's government has set a goal to generate 13% of its energy from sustainable sources by 2020.
According to the CIA Factbook; in 2009, fossil fuel based electricity generation
accounted for 46.4% of Belgium's total installed capacity and nuclear made up 33.7%
Belgium has declared that no new commercial nuclear reactors are to be
constructed in the country and that 6 of Belgium's reactors will be shut down when they reach an operational lifetime of 40
years; which will occur between 2015–2025. The one other reactor in the
country will be allowed to continue past the 40 year mark, but even that
facility will be shuttered in 2025.
has been promoting
development of renewable energy in Belgium since 1991.
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