Offshore wind farm
An offshore wind farm is more efficient than an onshore wind farm:
- There is more wind at sea which means the turbines are able to generate more energy.
- Belwind lies 50 km offshore which means the wind farm cannot be seen from land. People living at the coast and tourists can still enjoy an intact horizon.
- At sea nobody is bothered by the cast shadow, nor the sound of the rotating blades.
- Wind farms are also a blessing for marine flora and fauna. The wind farm is closed to shipping and fishing, giving fish, mammals and plants free rein and allowing them to multiply untroubled around the rocks fortifying the foundations. In this way a wind farm becomes like a nature refuge.Moreover, the impact on flora and fauna will be measured over a period of 6 years by the Royal Belgian Institute of Natural Sciences, BMM department, funded by Belwind.
- There are very few birds 50 km offshore which means less chance of collisions with the turbines than on land where collisions also rarely occur.
- There are no colonies of marine mammals living around the Bligh Bank, nor are any regularly spotted. The closest living animal group is the seal rookery in Zeeland, a good 80 km further.
- We learn a lot by building offshore wind farms and the techniques applied get increasingly better. This will make wind energy cheaper in the long term and creates a new industry which the built up know-how will be able to export.