New Belgian offshore concessions

In recent months, a number of interesting law changes that are relevant to the Belgian energy sector have been published in the Belgian State Gazette.

May saw the publication of two amendments to the Electricity Law of 29 April 1999, one introducing a market-wide capacity remuneration mechanism and the other to enable the launch of a competitive tender for new renewable power generation capacity to be constructed off the Belgian coast, and to provide a legal basis for the related support scheme. A detailed procedure for this tender process has yet to be established by the (new) federal government. Given the current political uncertainty, this is likely to take a while.

At the beginning of July, a Royal Decree establishing the new marine spatial plan for the period 2020 2026 was published, which amongst other things describes the potential locations for new offshore concessions for renewable electricity production installations. This plan enters into force on 20 March 2020.

In this client alert, we discuss the broader context of the push for a second offshore wind zone off the Belgian coast, as well as some key provisions from the law amendment concerning the launch of the competitive tender (which, for the avoidance of doubt, is technology neutral and not limited to offshore wind), and what is to be expected next.

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