No. The Flemish Government has set out preconditions for all spatial planning projects, including wind farms, in its Ruimtelijk Structuurplan Vlaanderen (‘Regional Spatial Structure Plan’). These preconditions are not binding, although project developers applying for a permit need to respect the norms and rules laid down in VLAREM (‘Flemish Regulation Concerning Environmental Licensing’) and require a Flemish circular letter. You can consult Wallonia’s spatial policy framework here.
The amount of noise depends on the amount of background noise and wind velocity. Today’s wind turbines operate much more quietly than their predecessors. As a rule of thumb, noise pollution is practically unnoticeable as of 250 to 300 metres away from the turbine. Permit applications always include calculations of any expected noise levels. In Flanders, projects are required by law to respectregional noise limits. In Wallonia, such distances and noise limits are regulated. Concerned about any potential noise affecting your home? Contact us at email@example.com. firstname.lastname@example.org.
Choosing wind energy means choosing clean and renewable energy. It reduces the need for fossil fuels, which in turn reduces both exploitation-related pollution and air pollution. Because wind energy is generated locally, it also makes Belgium less dependent on foreign energy giants. As such, all profits remain in our hands. It also creates green jobs within the region. All of this makes wind energy an attractive, safe investment. Want to know more? Want to know more?
A large number of studies have looked into the potential impact of noise on human health. None of these studies found proof that noise causes fatigue or high blood pressure. While some may have negative experiences with wind turbines, the way in which wind projects are developed likely affects neighbouring residents’ experience of any resulting noise. Want to know more?
Years of observation in Denmark show that roughly six birds are killed by wind turbines each year. For comparison, hunters kill 1.5 million birds in Belgium each year, with traffic killing another 2 million. Naturally, we do everything we can to avoid harming any local wildlife. When we decide on a particular location, we avoid key areas where birds or bats nest, roost, rest or pass through when migrating. Should there be more accidents than first expected, we plant trees to divert any wildlife away from the wind farm.
To minimise their impact on the landscape, wind turbines tend to be erected in areas of heavy activity. These include industrial areas or those surrounding ports and motorways. Of course, wind turbines generate most energy in open plots of land without any buildings. To limit their visual impact in open land, several turbines tend to be grouped together. When we construct a turbine in a more residential area, we consult with residents and local authorities to identify green initiatives we can support in the area.
Lights on wind turbines can also affect the landscape. However, these lights are often necessary to alert aircraft, thereby protecting local residents. The decision as to whether warning lights are required lies with the government.
On sunny days, a wind turbine’s rotating blades can create a moving shadow, known as ‘shadow flicker’. Eoly always makes sure to abide by the relevant regulations in this regard. During the planning phase, we analyse which homes might experience shadow flicker. Once a turbine is activated, we monitor the exact amount of flicker each home experiences, down to the second. Flemish legislation allows for no more than 8 hours of shadow flicker per home per year, with no more than half an hour per day. The maximum under Walloon legislation is 30 hours per year and half an hour per day.
Residents mostly tend to worry about the value of their homes during the development phase, before the wind turbine has actually been erected. In our experience, after the installation, the worries of the people disappear.There is no scientific evidence that wind turbines negatively affects the value of nearby properties.
Offshore turbines are a great idea. However, harnessing wind energy at sea requires huge investments in grid infrastructure to transport any generated electricity to shore, while building foundations at sea is expensive. To meet future demand for sustainable energy, we will need both onshore and offshore turbines. It is not a question of one or the other, which is why both Eoly Energy and Parkwind became part of the Virya Energy holding. While Eoly Energy delivers onshore wind energy, Parkwind provides offshore wind energy.
The taller a turbine, the more wind it will catch. A standard tall wind turbine (3MW) can easily produce 6,000MWh of electricity per year – enough to meet the electricity needs of almost 2,000 households. A medium-height (100kW) turbine only produces 179MWh, which covers the electricity needs of just 60 households. This means that it would require 33 medium-height turbines – and a lot more space – to generate the same amount of energy that one tall turbine would provide. The potential amount of energy generated is always weighed against the amount of space required. Compared with solar panels, the difference is even starker. To match the electricity production of a tall wind turbine, you would need no fewer than 100 football pitches of solar panels. Overall, wind turbines take up relatively little space given the amount of energy they produce.