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Poland obstructs wind power expansion

Poland's ruling party has weakened a bill to relax some of Europe's strictest distance regulations for wind farm development. This will deter investors, fears the Polish Wind Energy Association (PSEW).

Poland's ruling party has backed away from a government proposal that aimed to double the country's wind power capacity by removing the 10H distance rule, Reuters reports. The ruling 'Law and Justice' party had introduced the 10H rule for onshore wind turbines in 2016, which stipulates that turbines must be at least ten times their height away from residential buildings. Just like in German Bavaria, where the regulation also exists, Poland has thus effectively blocked the country from investments in new turbines.

While last year the minority government presented a proposal to radically reduce this minimum distance to 500m in order to get billions of euros in economic stimulus money from the EU, the government majority has now revised the planned minimum distance back upwards to 700 metres in parliamentary committees on Thursday.

The Polish Wind Energy Association (PSEW) now fears that potential investors in onshore wind power plants will effectively be deterred. An analysis by the association shows that increasing the minimum distance to 700 metres will lead to a reduction in potential installed capacity of around 60-70 %.

"Without 500 metres, the Windmill Act is a bubble - no new wind farms will be built for 10 years. Changing the minimum distance for wind turbines to 700 metres will have fatal consequences for wind energy. It will make it impossible to use the potential of Polish wind. Instead of about a dozen, at most a few GW of wind power will be generated. This will de facto further block onshore wind energy. This is incomprehensible in view of the energy crisis and the dramatically high energy prices," says Janusz Gajowiecki, President of the Polish Wind Energy Association.

The draft must be approved by both chambers of parliament and signed by the president to become law.

Windfair Editors
Poland, energy transition, 10H, height, residential buildings, investment, EU, funding, wind farm, onshore, distance

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