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Did you know that cow dung is very useful, is it?: Johan was in 2016, first in West-Flanders, with a private windmill
Diksmuide You need will soon be no longer peculiar to see if your neighbor a private windmill installed in his garden. Of the 14 approved small and medium-sized wind turbines in Flanders, there will be 12 in West-Vlaanderen, mostly from farmers. Three years ago it was Johan Debruyne (52) from Esen near Diksmuide the first farmer with a private windmill. “Meanwhile, we are already generating our electricity in a sustainable way. Even cow manure we can use,” laughs Johan.

The first call of the Flemish minister of Energy, Lydia Peeters (Open Vld) for small and medium-sized wind turbines with fourteen approved projects are a success. It comes to wind turbines with a capacity of 10 to 300 kilowatts. Of the 14 approved will soon have 12 in our province, especially in farms or waste treatment facilities. The minister distributed a cash grant of one and a half million euro over the fourteen turbines. Meanwhile, it is the second call launched. That runs until the end of may. “The applicants can be up to seventy percent of their return on investment through the grant of the minister. That will definitely played a role in the success”, acknowledges Johan Debruyne. Together with his wife he took nineteen years ago the farm, with beef cattle from his in-laws. He cultivates the West-Flemish roodrund that he along with the well-known butcher Hendrik Dierendonck in Sint-Idesbald on the map below. Two years ago he was the first in the province of a small wind turbine at his farm. “15,000 euros to have it invested, without a penny of subsidy,” notes Johan.

After four years of light to be green

“A good farm is one that as much as possible is closed,” explains Johan. “We grow crops that we have in our cattle feed processing. Furthermore, we think constantly about our energy consumption. Initially, we invested in solar panels. That produce a half of year, but during the dark winter months we have there are too few revenue. The idea of a private wind turbine to place matured, but the politics wasn't ready for. In 2012 I served for the first time, a request in. Meanwhile, I went to the Netherlands to investigate what turbines are all there were on the market. Also at the innovation and knowledge centre, Greenbridge in Ostend, I knocked to my knowledge of this to expand. Four years after my first application I had something set in motion, because the province has adopted a policy framework for small and medium-sized wind turbines well. Fortunately, I am all these years of fighting have been, and I remained convinced of the power of a small windmill. Since the end of 2016, he stands on our farm.”

Entirely on green energy

“Because I already have solar panels, I was but a turbine next to it with a production of 3.5 kilowatts. With both green investments can I get all of my electricity. Last year I couldn't even 1000 kWh back on the net stitches. For optimal efficiency, I installed the windmill of fifteen feet high in the southwest. A Minimum of fifty metres from the buildings is necessary. Please note that the windmill has a certificate with production figures. Noise and drop shadow, we have not. And also dead birds by the battle of the blades we found not yet. In addition, our turbine is not about his revs. They can withstand winds up to 160 kilometers per hour and continues to produce as well as the storm. The hydraulic mast can I easily self-maintained. Annually lubricate all bolts check; you don't need more. The big plus of a wind turbine is that the day and night, winter and summer, green electricity. If we use our solar panels and wind turbine in terms of yield in a chart casting, we note that we by that combination throughout the year about a similar yield of green electricity.”


And Johan goes a step further. “In the media, it is wrongly said that the manure of cows, which makes for a large CO2-emissions, while actually, their breath is. The manure even has a green side. in Winter we get via a circulation system, heat from the water of the manure to our water heater on to warm up.”

Or one of the small windmills the future for everyone doubts Johan. “A wind turbine generates too much power for one family. In neighborhoods and industrial areas, it would be perfectly feasible. Especially on the coast and in the Canal, rendering wind turbines optimally. In the interior blows the much less. ‘I must now choose for a windmill or solar panels?’, that question I received over the past years the most. The answer is nuanced. A pig farmer has, especially in the summer a lot of electricity to his stables to vent, and it would benefit from solar panels. A dairy farm will benefit from a wind turbine because the milking machines, the entire year by turning. I am definitely very happy with our pioneering work. Three years later, I will suggest a growing interest in wind energy and that I can only applaud.”

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