The Polish cabinet adopted legislation easing rules on the development of wind farms, as the country aims to boost its installed capacity and diversify energy supplies.
Wind development in Poland has been stalled since 2016 by rules that require a minimum distance of 10 times the height of an onshore wind power plant between the farm and residential buildings, in practice blocking new projects.
Under the revised rules, a minimum distance between a wind farm and a residential building would be set at 500 metres. Onshore wind investments would have to be included in municipal zoning plans, Climate Minister Anna Moskwa told reporters on Tuesday. “Our priority is to diversify energy supplies, wind power generation has a potential to grow dynamically in Poland,” Moskwa said.
“It could add 6-10 gigawatts of wind power capacity by 2030.” she added.
The draft still has to be backed by a majority in parliament, which may take several months, government officials said.
The changes would allow for the construction of onshore wind turbines on more than 7% of Polish land, freeing up more than 25 times the area currently available, according to Warsaw-based think-tank Instrat. Poland now has 7.3 gigawatts of installed wind capacity.
Work on legislation, which has languished for about two years, gained traction after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine added urgency to efforts to cut Polish reliance on imported fossil fuels. The country relies on coal for some 80% of its electricity.
The ruling Law and Justice (PiS) party’s junior coalition partner, the eurosceptic Solidarna Polska, has been increasingly pressuring the government to keep coal as a pillar of the energy system and to resist the European Union’s climate targets.
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