One of the first decisions of the new government will be the liberalization of the so-called wind farm act – writes Money.pl. The distance at which wind farms could be built is to be reduced from 700 to 500 meters. Experts argue that the difference of 200 meters is of great importance in this context.
Everything indicates that Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki will not be able to obtain a vote of confidence from the Sejm and a new government led by Donald Tusk will be appointed in mid-December. According to Money.pl, one of the first decisions of the new coalition will be to change the so-called Windmill Act. A bill on this matter was submitted during the current session of the Sejm. It assumes unblocking the development of land-based nuclear energy. According to the assumptions, the minimum distance at which wind farms could be built will be reduced from 700 to 500 meters.
Tusk’s government will liberalize the wind farm law. What will 200 meters do?
The portal points out that this is a return to the compromise reached last year, when the PiS government planned to liberalize the draconian rule 10H (which defines the minimum distance between a residential building and a wind farm as ten times the height of the installation). However, there was no consent from the Solidarna Polska coalition, as a result of which the limit of 700 meters was pushed through. Experts had no doubt that this was a cosmetic change and Poland would still have the most restrictive regulations on this matter in Europe.
Meanwhile, reducing the distance to 500 meters would qualify our country as one of the most liberal, as indicated by the report of the British think-tank Ember-Climate. Ember’s analyzes show that due to the liberalization of regulations, 10 GW of new wind capacity could be created in Poland by 2030, while with the current 700 meters – 4 GW. Janusz Gajowiecki, president of the Polish Wind Energy Association, argues that 200 meters “makes a dramatic difference.”
– It increases the pace of development of onshore wind energy, because almost all investments were prepared for 400-600 meters. Reducing the distance to 500 m can accelerate the investment by up to 5-7 years. 200 meters may not seem like much, but looking at the spatial development and scattered buildings in Poland, it is crucial – Gajowiecki says in an interview with Money.pl.
This is also confirmed by the calculations of the Polish Ambiens advisory chamber. According to them, lowering the required distance by 200 m will reduce the so-called excluded area (one in which, according to the regulations, a wind farm cannot be built) by 44%. throughout Poland. Estimates of the Polish Wind Energy Association indicate that reducing the minimum distance to 500 m would increase the area occupied by windmills from 0.28 percent. up to 7.08 percent area of the country.
“People want green energy”
The head of the organization argues that reducing the distance from buildings will not mean a conflict with the inhabitants of the communes where the farms are to be built (this argument was raised last year by opponents of the liberalization of regulations). – The social side said two years ago that the 500 m limit protected their interests. A compromise has been reached. It was a false narrative. People want green energy and the benefits of cheaper electricity – convinces President Gajowiecki.
This is confirmed by Janina Gawlik, mayor of the Kostomłoty commune (Lower Silesian Voivodeship), where Polenergia has built a large wind farm and is planning to build another one, this time closer to the buildings. – Our windmills are very tall, they can be seen from the A4 motorway. At the beginning, when the fame was created, there were some concerns among the residents, and I was skeptical myself. But it was created, there are no negative signals. Today, Polenergia is talking about a second farm at a shorter distance, people are rather favorable – says, quoted by the Gawlik website.
However, the mayor emphasizes that although the construction of windmills no longer arouses emotions, it does have its consequences. It is primarily about limiting the area for individual development. – However, talks are underway. A new law intended to transfer 10 percent energy for residents (after 2025 – ed.), this is a good incentive. People need to feel that they participate in the benefits of the farm’s presence – Gawlik emphasizes.