CMI, whose overall approach to sustainable development is to encourage the production of green energy, partnered yesterday with DEME for the international seminar “Power to the winds of change”. This seminar, dedicated to the promotion of renewable energy, was held in Ostend (Belgium), a short distance from the offshore wind farm that DEME is installing on the Thornton Bank (North Sea) and which CMI will maintain until 2023.
Some 250 participants, including all Thornton Bank project stakeholders, gathered to listen to a panel of high-level speakers. Of these, the famous “scientist-adventurer” Bertrand Piccard, noted initiator of the solar-powered aircraft project “Solar Impulse,” encouraged the manufacturers present to “get rid of dreams and implement visions.” Climate ambassador Serge De Gheldere, for his part, felt that the “next decade will be the most important in the history of mankind.” Finally, Melchior Wathelet, Belgian State Secretary for the Environment, Energy, Mobility, and Institutional Reform welcomed all technological innovation. He called for “establishing a legal framework laying down stable and fair rules for entrepreneurs to develop profitable activities in renewable energy.”
The seminar concluded with the naming ceremony of “Neptune,” the self-elevating heavy lift jack-up vessel used for installing offshore wind turbines at Thornton Bank. Six wind turbines are already operational. Within 18 months, 48 more will be installed, for a total capacity of 325 MW (the annual electricity consumption of 600,000 inhabitants and with 450,000 tons of carbon emissions avoided each year).