Belgium intends to build an island in the North Sea. An entire island dedicated to the storage ofwind energy; with i wind farms conventional electricity ends up wasting a lot of electricity: often, the wind speed causes peaks in electricity production, but these peaks do not correspond to a higher demand for electricity, so the energy surplus produced is wasted.
“We produce a lot of electricity with wind turbines, however, sometimes this energy is lost because at peak moments there is not a sufficiently high demand for electricity " -the Belgian minister Johan Vande Lanotte explains- "an energy storage site is the right solution ". Designing a platform for wind energy storage it could be a one-of-a-kind solution.
L'artificial island which should arise in the North Sea, should be structured in the shape of a donut, in the center of which, a tank should be placed for the transport of water: the key to energy storage lies precisely in the pumping of water and in the action of special turbines. For the preparation of thestorage island it will take about five years.
Today, Belgium derives its energy from two nuclear power plants, that of Doel and Tihange. These plants generate a capacity of approximately 3,000 MW. 57 percent of Belgium's energy needs are met precisely bynuclear energy, with i wind farms of the North Sea, Belgium hopes to be able to produce 2,300 MW of clean energy so as to supplant nuclear power.
As soon as the definitive go-ahead is given, theartificial island it will be built off the coast of the city of Wenduine. With the possibility of storing wind energy, Belgium will have broken down the largest limit imposed bywind energy and it will be able to supply clean energy at any time of the day, even at peak times, when the winds blow slowly!
Photo | Anna De Simone