Poland is expected to add 23 gigawatts (GW) of renewable capacity over 2021-2026 according to the International Energy Agency’s (IEA) latest analysis of global renewable energy sources. Solar PV will account for almost 75 per cent of this growth, followed by onshore wind. The country’s first offshore wind turbines that are expected to start operations in 2026 will add around 1 GW of renewable capacity.
Poland will also be among seven European countries and the only state from Central and Eastern Europe to drive a major share of the predicted growth of renewables in Europe.
The report which forecasts the deployment of renewable energy technologies in electricity, transport and heat by 2026, also suggests that 3.7 billion euros worth of grants and loans that Poland has requested through the European Union’s Recovery and Resilience Facility should stimulate the development of offshore wind.
Up to date, auctions remain the principal driver of utility-scale PV and wind deployment in the country. In October 2021 auctions were extended from 2021 to 2027 as a result of amendments in the Renewable Energy Act.
The first seven offshore wind projects with a total capacity of about 6 GW were approved in 2021 and are expected to come online during 2026-2030, with additional capacity planned to be awarded through auctions starting in 2025.
However, onshore wind project development remains constrained by a special regulation that prohibits the construction of turbines close to residential areas. According to the report, current rules prohibit project development even in those areas where local community support is strong in Poland.
On the regional level, the trajectory of renewable capacity growth over the 2021-26 period indicates that the European Union as a whole is set to outpace what the current National Energy and Climate Plans (NECPs) envision for 2030.
“Rapid deployment is being driven by member countries implementing larger auction volumes, corporations contracting for more renewable electricity, and consumers continuing to install large amounts of solar panels”, suggests the report.