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Project summary

Name of the case study
Management of wind-farm developments in Wallonia (landscape and use of land)

Where is it located?

What type of activity is it?

Short description of the case study
Energy consumption in the Wallonian Region is particularly high (5.7 boe*/inhab/year in Wallonia compared to 3.8 boe/hab in Europe). In order to achieve the regional requirements of the Kyoto Protocol (a reduction of emissions of 7.5% between 2008- respect to data registered in 1990), the Wallonian Government intends to produce 4% of its energy requirements from wind farms. Very quickly, many projects pointed out: wind-farms were expected to produce 200MW by 2010 when 300MW should already been reached at the end of 2005. In order to control this fast development, and particularly to manage impacts on landscapes and use of land, Regional Authorities have worked to produce tools. This is particularly important for Wallonia, a small region incorporating many urban areas. Therefore a coherent strategy has to be set up and tools are needed to assess impacts of every wind-farm project.

The first idea of a general planning-map which takes into account, for example, electricity networks and wind studies covering the whole regional territory has been rejected due to other countries experiences. Also, a planning-map considering landscapes at a regional scale has been judged not efficient. The definition of zones for wind-farm developments is still under debate in Belgium (and in other European countries). Until now, the tool used, but not legally obligatory, is the EIEolienne map that defines exclusion zones where wind-farm could not be developed within the territory. The main difference with the 2 previous tool-map considered is that the focus is on constraints, Indicators are aggregated to appreciate where wind-farms projects are excluded or restricted. A second tool in use is a Framework of Guidelines for Wind Energy development that establish domain rules and good practices that should respect the settlement of a wind-farm project.

A third ´tool´ the government is considering is a new post: a landscape officer whose task would be to facilitate the assessment of a project giving expert advice.

All these tools are developed to assess wind-farm projects applying for licenses in respect to their impacts on landscape and the use of land. The final goal being a better management of the spreading of the wind farms or ´small infrastructures´ on the territory.

Production of wind-energy planned in the Wallonian Region
Production of wind-energy planned in the Wallonian Region

* boe: barrels oil equivalent = 6,12 X 109J

What tools were used to assess sustainability?

EiEolienne planning-map

Framework of Guidelines for Wind Energy development

More information

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