Elia estimates Belgian artificial energy island at about €450 million
Creating an artificial Belgian energy island in the Nort Sea will cost 400 to 450 million euros. That is what energy provider Elia announced on Wednesday in the margin of its annual results.
The plans for such an island fit in the planned expansion of the wind farms at sea, in the so-called ‘Prices Elisabeth zone’ in front of De Panne’s coastline. The goal is to double the offshore wind energy capacity by 2030.
The original plans were to provide three power sockets in the above-mentioned zone at sea, but now, Elia considers creating an artificial island of five hectares. The island would become the transmission hub for the Belgian wind farms, the cable to and from Denmark, and the Nautilus cable to and from the UK.
At this very same moment, Denmark is preparing the start of ‘its biggest building project in Danish history’ to create two ‘energy islands’, one in the North Sea, the other in the Baltic Sea. Both islands will export energy to the Danish mainland and some neighboring countries, like the Netherlands and Germany. And Belgium can connect to it, too, by a 500 km undersea cable. Danmark was the first country to build an offshore windfarm in 1991, and now the country is taking the next step into a new era of offshore wind energy.
In Belgium, the project’s decision is not taken yet and partly depends on Elia’s possible subsidies. The island’s investments are estimated at 400 to 450 million euros, or 1,1 billion euros electrical installations included. The energy island is more expensive than the socket solution, but later upscaling is cheaper. Besides, other activities on the island would be possible, like a large-scale battery park.
Anyway, creating an energy island may not involve additional costs for consumers, the federal government already warned.
Elia Group is active in electricity transmission, supplying 30 million end-users with electricity. According to its annual report, the Group makes crucial investments for energy transition while delivering strong financial results. Elia Group promotes both the integration of the European energy market and the decarbonization of our society. The company responds to the rapidly changing energy mix, i.e., the increasing role of renewable energy, and constantly adapts its transmission grid accordingly.