When a source of local renewable energy kickstarts a bio-cluster at North Sea Port

  • 9 May 2022

The Bio Energy Base in the Port of Ghent is highly efficient because it maximizes green heat, steam and power supply by bringing it to neighboring industrial companies. The shared source of clean energy significantly helps to reduce the carbon footprint of its industrial neighbors.

Typically, these are innovative companies whose production model matches the type of bio-energy received by docking with the Bio Energy Base. Other factories just seize upon the opportunity to switch to affordable renewables, as required by the Green Deal.

Greening existing industrial activity, attracting new and innovative activity in the Port of Ghent

The Bio Energy Base thus becomes the beating heart of an expanding bio-cluster. Each factory that connects to it, makes the energy network denser and more efficient. Each added industrial activity augments the innovative profile and economic potential of the site.

What is at its core a sustainable energy producing unit now becomes a kickstarter for green and future-proof growth. For any region trying to design a plan that balances environmental and economic goals, such a bio-energy-hub can have transformative potential:

  1. it roots a local, guaranteed, renewable and thus affordable source of energy

  2. it anchors economical activity and job creation around its energy supply center

  3. it attracts innovative businesses

  4. it switches existing industry to renewable energy and greens the regional economy

The Bio Energy Base in other words catalyzes ecological and economical progress. It makes a region double durable.

Models can be duplicated: how to scale up the impact of the Bio Energy Base

The Bio Energy Base could even inspire a new type of decentralized energy infrastructure throughout the region and the country. Because we can look at the entire project as a model and models can be duplicated.

Seen this way, the Bio Energy Base provides the blueprint of a countrywide renewable energy production network generating small-scale industrial clusters. These zones strive for zero or negative carbon emission and a minimal overall footprint. At the same time, they boost growth, innovation and employment.

Seen from the viewpoint of the local, regional and federal governments, this model helps realizing strategic objectives:

  1. keeping and attracting manufacturing and innovative industry

  2. switching energy intensive sectors to renewable energy

  3. more energy production at home makes us less vulnerable and more independent

  4. creating a dependable, sustainable and future proof energy infrastructure

  5. producing renewable but also affordable energy for the economy and for households

  6. laying down a framework for viable, compact and zero emission hubs

  7. decentralizing and spreading opportunities for green growth

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