Poland Onshore wind energy 10H distance rule liberalized
The Polish government is liberalizing the so-called 10h rule, which was introduced by the 2016 Distance Law.
The abolition of the 10H rule for socially acceptable wind investments had been discussed in Poland for several years. For the wind industry, the introduction of this rule significantly stunted growth in this sector. Finally, the windmill law amendment was signed by the President of Poland on March 13, 2023.
Wind power in Poland has been growing for two decades. The installed capacity of wind farms exceeded a symbolic 100MW in 2005 and is now over 8250MW (1Q2023). However, a distance law introduced in 2016 blocked onshore wind development due to the 10H rule. The law was controversial from the very beginning, with calls for its liberalization continuing practically from the moment it came into force. The need for transition from fossil fuels and the energy crisis caused by the Russian invasion of Ukraine required the government to accelerate its work in this regard. Finally the Polish government concluded liberalization of this 10h rule, which was introduced by the 2016 Distance Law. The windmill law amendment was signed by the President of Poland on March 13, 2023.
For nearly 2 years, power companies were assured by the government of a distance of 500 meters from buildings as a minimum and were preparing new wind projects under this distance. Parliament, however, regardless of these agreements, increased this distance to 700 meters, which companies were not anticipating.
The liberalization of the 10H rule to 500 meters allowed for a more than 25-fold increase in the availability of land for wind investment (from the current 0.28 percent to 7.08 percent of Poland’s area). The government estimates that with the current 700 meters, it will be about 4 -5 percent. Just moving the distance by 200 meters, means reducing this favorable area by about 46 percent. The provinces in central Poland will be affected the most. With a distance of 700 meters, there may be a few more GW to 12 GW in the near future. Experts believe that if the distance could be changed from 700 to 500 meters, about 6 GW of additional energy could be created by the end of this decade. Otherwise, Poland risks a 6-7 year pause in the construction of new farms as early as 2-3 years from now.
Nevertheless, the recently adopted liberalization of the allowed distance between a wind farm tower from a building creates new opportunities for development. Green energy projects increase the competitiveness of the Polish economy, which is extremely important for foreign investors. American investors such as Amazon, Google, 3M and many others need green energy to remain competitive in the European market.
The U.S. Commercial Service Poland strongly recommends that U.S. technology providers and developers closely follow the developments in the above-described area, as the opportunities for U.S. know-how and technological solutions will arise. For more information, please contact the U.S. Commercial Service Poland at email@example.com.