Poland shifts towards wind energy

06 Nov 2018

wind energyWorks for onshore wind energy are now in process, after restrictive laws implemented by Poland’s right-wing government in 2016 had delayed them. The laws had made it virtually impossible to build new turbines on land by requiring that they be located a distance of ten times their height from any residential building.

The change in legislation has been revealed ahead of the COP24 World Climate Conference set to take place on Dec 2 in Katowice.

Janusz Gajowiecki, chairman of the Polish wind energy Association (PSEW), said of plans to bring an additional one gigawatt (GW) of wind energy online: "We're on the right track.”

At the current moment, Poland has around 6.4 GW of installed wind power, whilst per comparison, neighbouring Germany has around 56 GW.

Subsidies are also to be available under a new government plan aimed at helping Poland not rely on coal and instead meet EU goals for renewable energy use.

The EU’s overall target is to have 20% green energy in its mix by 2020. On the other hand, Poland is set too boost its overall use of renewable energy to at least 15% by 2020 under EU deals on emissions curbs.

Some Polish environmentalists have noted a change in outlook among PiS (Poland’s right-wing Law and Justice) politicians towards renewables.

"There are different trends within the PiS and there are people who support renewable energy," says Ms Ogniewska, "but the majority still favours coal, gas and geothermal energy that are more 'tangible'; they distrust 'elusive' sources like the wind or the sun".

The latest official figures have revealed that Poland’s renewable energy mix is dominated by biomass, accounting for just over two-thirds of the total in 2016. Wind ranks second with 12%, followed by biodiesel with 10%.