The Polish wind industry is alarmed at growing support for a proposal to introduce a minimum distance of 1.5 kilometres between wind farms and homes, which could devastate wind developments in the country.
As the capacity of projected wind stations in Poland has increased to 64GW, the idea to set a minimum distance between turbines and homes has been gaining ground. Two provinces have set guidelines for local spatial plans that suggest a minimum 1km distance.
The Ministry of Environment sets a maximum 45 decibel level for noise created by wind turbines for residential areas at night and 55dB during the day. Anti-wind protestors claim that this is not enough because this means that turbines are often installed 400 metres from homes, which they consider much too close.
The number of anti-wind protests has grown from 65 in July to 70 at the beginning of August, according to the www.stopwiatrakom.eu website, which publishes information on wind farm protests. This may not seem a substantial number in comparison to several hundred wind projects in Poland, but the case has attracted political attention which may be fatal for the industry.
The bill proposing the minimum distance was put forward by Anna Zalewska, a member of Parliament from centre right opposition party Prawo i Sprawiedliwosc. “I have been just preparing a few amendments to existing laws that will introduce this minimum distance,” she says. Zalewska was one of the organisers of a conference grouping wind farms opposition in March.
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