Supporting Policies for Ocean Energy

Belgium has to increase its share of renewable energy production to 13% of the total consumption by 2020, following the general European Union objective. This share has been growing steadily in the past years.
Currently, Belgium’s renewable energy share is at around 9%. Main incentives aim at wind energy (onshore and offshore), biomass, biogas and solar energy. The offshore wind energy concessions in the Belgian North Sea will have the biggest impact on renewables, leading up to a total of2.262 MW of offshore wind power installed by end 2020.
A green energy certificate market is implemented to support onshore renewable energy production with Tradable Green Certificates (TGC). For each renewable technology, a stakeholder analysis is put forward to determine the level of support. A generic business case is constructed with input of the developer, the technology supplier, investors, banks, etc. This exercise will determine the cost of the renewable electricity and the matching value of the TGC in €/MWh. The business case is frequently updated in order to align the new TGC support with the technology evolution.
In the coastal province of West Flanders, Western part of Belgium, marine renewable energy is seen as a new emerging industry, highly relevant for Flanders. There are several initiatives promoting the development of the blue economy, including marine energies.
The ‘Strategic Framework for Smart Specialisation in Flanders’, describing the on-going policy process for proprietary areas in the innovation and strategy of Flanders, points out the sectors of Blue Economy, Blue Growth and Blue Energy in Flanders as prioritised areas. WESTDEAL is then focussing on West Flanders.
The Flemish Agency for Innovation and Entrepreneurship (VLAIO) has been supporting the ‘Blue Cluster’ aimed at large companies & SMEs active in the blue economy sector, including marine energies.
The West Flanders Development Agency (POM West Flanders), is supporting developments in the blue energy field, promoting the development of ocean energy technology by the academic sector and private companies. The Blue Energy Cluster of POM West Flanders was established by the province of West Flanders to give businesses in this industry every possibility to grow via innovation. Promotion, research, training and infrastructure. The cluster partnerships aim to create an optimal breeding ground for a future-oriented economy. This is possible thanks to a close collaboration between education, science, industry and local government. One example is the periodic, structural meeting of the “core group” blue energy, organised by POM West Flanders, which brings together the main players in the blue energy field.

The Belgian maritime spatial plan foresees an area for the exploitation for offshore wind, wave and tidal energy. This area has been divided into 9 zones for which the Government has given domanial concessions for renewable energy project development. The last concession (±55 km from the coast) was granted in July 2012 to the temporary trading company Mermaid. This Mermaid concession zone aims at the installation of 232 to 266 MW wind and 5 to 61 MW wave energy (rated power). This hybrid park has a water depth of 35-40 m and an average wave climate of 6.5 kW/m. The project is planned to be finished by 2020 for wind part of it.
Every year, POM West Flanders launches a call for project called the “Quick Wins”, in which a number of short term innovation cooperation projects are funded (50% ) with the ambition to finalise with a pilot installation, test setup or prototype. 
The Federal Energy Transition Fund in Belgium aims to encourage and support research and development in the field of energy. As part of the Energy Transition Fund, the Directorate-General Energy organizes each year a call for proposals in accordance with article 3, §1, of the Royal Decree of 9 May 2017 laying down the conditions for use of the Energy Transition Fund.
The current call aims to support innovative and research projects within five energy sectors with that of renewable energy in the Belgian exclusive economic zone of the North Sea being one of them.
The Energy Transition Fund aims at research and development in the field of energy. The budget of the Energy Transition Fund for the year 2020 amounts to 25 million euros, which can be awarded as a subsidy to projects that meet all relevant conditions and relate to research and development, investment in research infrastructure, innovation clusters or on innovation by SMEs.
The Flemish Agency for Innovation and Entrepreneurship (VLAIO) has been supporting the since 2018 VLAIO set up the ‘Blue Cluster’ aimed at large companies & SMEs active in the blue economy sector, including marine energies.


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