The Walloon government has adopted a new frame of reference for wind turbines, as well as a map indicating the most favourable areas for the siting of turbines.
The goal is to strike a balance between the increasing demand for green energy production and the need to preserve the quality of life of local residents. The frame of reference lays down rules for the siting of wind farms, such as minimum distances from residences (three times the height of the mast), priority zones near major infrastructure works (motorways and railways), excluded areas (protected habitats, woodlands, scenic areas, etc.), and minimum distances between wind farms.
The frame of reference will be used to assess the relevance of future wind farm projects and provides guidance for the participation of citizens and municipalities in such projects.
The frame of reference has been converted into a map indicating propitious areas for wind farms (3.5% of the Walloon territory), taking into account the availability of sufficient wind. The map will form the object of an impact study and a public inquiry. Following approval of a new decree on wind farms, the siting of wind turbines will be allowed on the basis of the lots indicated on the map. Lots will be awarded to the most relevant wind farm projects.
In Flanders, a number of circulars have been issued laying down an assessment framework and preconditions for the siting of large (Circular EME/2006/01- RO/2006/02) and small to mid-sized (Circular LNE/2009/01 – RO/2009/01) wind turbines. The Flemish Wind Plan is considered a policy instrument. Circular on large wind turbines; Circular on small to mid-sized wind turbines; Flemish Wind Plan.