Over 7 GW of wind farm capacity in Poland
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PSE said that as of 1 August 2021, the installed capacity of wind farms in Poland exceeded 7 GW and amounted to 7,065 MW. This is a noticeable increase, given that at the end of 2020, the country’s wind farm capacity was at 6.35 GW. The onshore wind energy sector is currently awaiting the enactment of an amendment to the Distance Law, which has significantly restricted the construction of onshore wind farms in Poland to date.
Currently, wind farms are the largest source of renewable energy in terms of installed capacity in the country. The importance of wind energy development is emphasised in Poland’s Energy Policy until 2040 and in government programmes such as the Polish Deal. By 2030, the share of wind farms and photovoltaics in gross final energy consumption in the energy sector will be at least 23%, but not less than 32%.
According to the Polish Wind Energy Association (PSEW), optimism is also fuelled by the liberalisation of distance regulations announced by the government, which will result in another investment boom by additional 3-4 GW by 2025, with estimates for the 2030-2035 perspective reaching a total of 22-24 GW. In contrast, McKinsey points to 35 GW of onshore wind farms by 2050.
In practice, according to the new regulations, a new wind power plant can only be located on the basis of a Local Development Plan (LDP), drawn up for the area of the expected impact of the wind power plant. The basic minimum distance of a new wind power plant from residential buildings must be 10 times the total height of the wind power plant.
The amount and type of support for onshore wind energy development in the national energy strategy and recovery plans after the Covid-19 virus outbreak will determine a viable future scenario.