February 2023

Poland Liberalises Onshore Wind Power Regulations

The development of wind onshore projects is restricted by the so-called Distance Act in Poland. The legislation imposes the requirement that installations cannot be located closer than ten times the height of the turbine from residential buildings or other protected areas. This effectively eliminated the majority of wind onshore projects from 2016 (when the Distance Act was adopted).

Looking for Compromise

In previous years, there had been discussion on how to liberalise the above requirements and better take into consideration the needs of local communities, offer adequate protection, and nurture the development of new renewable energy resources to further diversify energy production in Poland. The need for such change became even more urgent last year due to the crisis on the energy market.

Several proposals were submitted to Parliament. One key proposal was to reduce the minimum distance of a wind turbine’s location to no more than 500 metres.

Compromise of 700

At the end of January 2023, during a recent session of a parliamentary committee, the proposed minimum distance was increased to 700 metres, which met with significant criticism from the renewable energy industry. According to an analysis by the Polish Wind Energy Association, increasing the minimum distance to 700 metres will result in a reduction of the potential installed capacity by between 30% to even about 60-70%.

Considering current high electricity prices, the need to unlock onshore wind projects should be at the forefront of energy policies across Europe.

The amended draft is now awaiting parliamentary review for further procedure. It might even be reviewed during the next session of the lower chamber of the Polish Parliament which is planned for 7 February 2023.

For more information and details on renewables, please contact Agnieszka Koniewicz.