The study divides the Flanders wind resource into four: inhabited areas and nature reserves which are unsuitable for wind development; agricultural country suitable for wind development; agricultural areas with landscape value which should be protected; and industrial areas which are the most suited to wind power. The zoning plan identifies sites for 731 MW of wind power which could generate enough electricity for about half a million of people.
According to the study, winds are sufficient in Flanders for the production of wind power at a cost of EUR 0.042/kWh and a sales price of EUR 0.079/kWh. The best sites, according to the study, are found in the windy coastal province of West Flanders, followed by eastern Flanders and Antwerp, which comes in third because the left bank of the Scheldt river is a nature reserve and out of bounds for wind turbines. Even in the most eastern Flemish province, Limburg -- Stevaert's own home province -- there are some locations where wind turbines would be profitable.
The Flanders government has prepared a model policy for reaching its 3% renewables target. It includes a 50 turbine wind farm in the North Sea using 2 MW machines and 60, 1.5 MW turbines on land as well as 40, 600 kW units. This would require an investment of EUR 300 to 320 million, according to the model, but would create more than a 1000 jobs in manufacturing and transport and 180 jobs in the fields of consultancy, installation and maintenance of the wind turbines.
Stevaert is suggesting a steep fine of EUR 0.124/kWh for each unit of green electricity which is not delivered by the utility sector to meet the national targets. Furthermore, the model suggest that subsidies be offered to landowners to develop their own wind turbines and proposes that the utility sector be required to meet its green power obligations through purchases of wind power from private generators if it does not generate enough itself.
Under the model, companies wanting to install their own wind turbines can apply for a government subsidy of 10-20% of the investment costs. Furthermore, those investments qualify for a special fiscal bonus.