Walloon wind farms are benefiting from public support that is 30% higher than that received in Flanders, l’Echo wrote on Wednesday.
This difference is explained notably by higher connection costs in the south of the country and less favourable climatic and territorial conditions.
According to Edora, the renewable energy federation, support for wind turbines is nearly 30% less in Flanders in comparison to Wallonia. New Walloon wind farms will on average receive around €55 per MWh in aid over 15 years – through green certificates – whereas Flemish farms get nearly €30 over 20 years.
For Fawaz Al Bitar, Edora’s chief executive, the difference can be explained by several factors. “To start with, the wind farm arrangement is better in Flanders through its proximity to the Coast and the Walloon territory is hillier with more uneven ground,” he explains. Higher local taxes in Wallonia than in Flanders are another determining factor.
Furthermore, “the cost that must be met by the wind-farm operators for connection to the distribution network is much higher in Wallonia.” In Flanders, operators can also share their costs, which is not the case in the south of the country.
Finally, “Distance criteria relating to housing are stricter in Wallonia than Flanders”, which means that large wind turbines are reserved for the north, impacting production.