Wind power has been on the way up across much of Europe, and this clean and renewable form of energy has just received another boost on the continent. The government of Belgian says it will set aside another 221 square kilometers near the country’s maritime waters with France for wind farms.
The small Western European nation currently has four offshore windfarms, which provide it with 870 megawatts of power. Once the new windfarm starts operating in 2020, that figure will rise all the way up to 2.2 gigawatts.
Within a decade, if all goes according to plan, Belgium will generate 4 gigawatts of power from wind energy. This will enable Belgium to cut its CO2 emissions and scale down its reliance on its two nuclear power plants, which currently generate for 40% of local energy needs.
Not to be outdone, Denmark, which has already been making headlines with its record-setting feats involving wind power, is seeking to set yet another record: this time by building the world’s largest windfarm. The park will host up to 75 giant wind turbines of around 250 meters tall and produce up to 800 megawatts, enough to power Denmark’s seven biggest cities.
“We are talking about a very, very big wind energy park that will play a central role in terms of the government reaching its goal of at least half of Denmark’s total energy consumption being sustainable by 2030,” Energy Minister Lars Christian Lillehol told Danish media.
Nor is Europe alone in seeking to harness the power of winds for electricity generation. China has been busy developing wind farms to help meet the country’s massive energy needs in a cleaner and greener way. Meanwhile, in the US the number of wind turbines in use has doubled in the past few years. The first commercial offshore windfarm, off Rhode Island, in New England, started operating in 2016, while several states from New York to California are seeking to set up floating offshore wind farms.
All this bodes well for the future of renewable energy. Already, a quarter of electricity produced globally is done so through renewable sources: mostly, wind and solar energy as well as hydropower.