What happens when your renewable energy reserves are too large to store?
Until now this was a problem faced by Belgium; they had just become too efficient in creating clean energy that they did not know what to do with the excess, and it was simply going to waste.
However this is set to change according to their minister Johan Vande Lanotte; Belgium are going to build an island a few miles off the coast which will store all of their excess wind energy supplies.
The 3km horseshoe shaped island with a massive reservoir in the middle, is to be located up to 4km off the shoreline of West Flanders. Once complete the island will receive all of the excess energy from the countries many wind farms and use it to pump water out of the massive reservoir in the centre of the horseshoe. Then when Belgium requires additional energy or a "top-up" they allow the water to flow back in to the reservoir and spin turbines thus generating additional electricity.
It is a simple and efficient idea, when you consider pumped hydroelectricity potentially has a storage capacity of more than 80 percent.
Belgium will take a lesson from places like Australia and Norway, who are already using variations of this science to manage their own energy needs. when you consider Belgium's population of 11 million inhabitants currently receive over half of their electricity by nuclear, you can understand their wish to explore other options as quickly as possible, especially in light of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster in 2011.