Belgium signs clean energy agreements with Norway

On Tuesday, the Flemish and Belgian governments signed energy agreements with Norway to bring Norwegian wind energy to Belgium and store CO2 from Belgian industry in Norway. Princess Astrid of Belgium leads a Belgian delegation to discuss energy transition, circular economy, life sciences, and design.

The joint statement on energy cooperation in the North Sea should provide political support for a future connection between the Belgian and Norwegian energy networks, including Norwegian offshore wind farms. In the meantime, the Belgian and Norwegian grid operators Elia and Statnett are already investigating possibilities.

Interconnection leads to better prices

Energy from Norway can flow to the Belgian grid via the Princess Elisabeth energy island, which is being built off the Belgian coast. Norway, in turn, wants to build many wind turbines on its long coastline. Earlier this year, a consortium with the Belgian company Parkwind won a contract to develop a 1,500-megawatt wind farm off the Norwegian coast.

The interconnection between countries and power grids is important for having access to green energy at all times and obtaining better prices by smoothing energy peaks.

Memorandum of understanding

CO2 storage was also often discussed at the energy summit in Oslo. Norway can store polluting CO2 in empty gas fields off its coast, which offers Belgian industry opportunities to reduce its emissions.

Therefore, Flemish Prime Minister Jan Jambon (N-VA) and Federal Minister of the North Sea Paul Van Tigchelt (Open Vld) signed a memorandum of understanding with the Norwegian Ministry of Energy during the mission on the construction of a pipeline for CO2 transport from Belgium to Norway. Both ministers believe CO2 storage in the North Sea is “a good solution in the fight against climate change”.

The Belgian gas network operators Fluxys and the Norwegian Equinor are preparing the project. The memorandum should ultimately lead to a bilateral agreement on the pipeline.


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