Belgium files complaint with EU over France’s plea to construct offshore wind farm

Federal Minister for the North Sea, Vincent Van Quickenborne, has made an announcement on Tuesday that he has filed a complaint with the European Commission over France’s plans to construct a large offshore wind farm off the coast of Dunkirk, near the Belgian border.

French energy companies EDF Renewables, Enbridge Éolien France, & RWE Renewables, alongside French electricity grid system operator RTE, have declared their plans to go ahead with the offshore wind project in May 2021.

The site is set to have up to 46 wind turbines, just 10 kilometres off the coast of Dunkirk & 11.4 kilometres from Belgian seaside towns.

A study of the site’s environmental impact is currently being drafted for consideration by French environmental authorities this year. The site is expected to be operational after 2027.

The offshore wind project will have a capacity of up to 600 MegaWatt or enough electricity to cover the annual consumption of nearly one million French citizens.

These renewable energy sites are seen as imposing & can cover coastal views. The port of Ostend has previously made a complaint about the potential disruption of shipping routes between Belgium & the United Kingdom.

The EU Commission has three months to reply to the complaint proposed by Van Quickenborne. The Commission must reply with an official opinion; otherwise, Belgium will be able to escalate its complaint to the Court of Justice of the European Union.

Complaints were first filed against the project by Belgian authorities in July 2021, when Belgian officials brought legal proceedings before an administrative court in Lille.

Despite Belgian anger over the proposals, Van Quickenborne has stressed that Belgium was open to a dialogue with the French government.


Gabriel Peters

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