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Investors to give 10% of wind farm energy to local residents, Polish government says

Last week, the Polish government adopted a new amendment brought forward by the Ministry of Climate and Environment on the draft act amending the wind farm investments act (also known as ’10H liberalisation act’), which is currently going through the parliamentary process. The amendment will oblige wind farm investors to provide at least 10 per cent of installed capacity to the residents of the commune (local authorities) where the wind farm is located.

If passed into law, potential investors planning to build a wind farm in a given Polish commune will need to allocate at least 10 per cent of the installed capacity of the planned project, allowing local residents to benefit from the generated energy in the formula of a virtual prosumer for 15 years.

“Thanks to the new regulations, every resident of the commune will be able – on a voluntary basis – to sign an agreement with the investor and become the so-called virtual prosumer for 15 years,” said the Minister of Climate and Environment, Anna Moskwa.

Local authorities, who will be responsible for determining the number of inhabitants potentially interested in entering into an agreement with the investor, will play an important role in the whole process.

Industry’s response: “Devil is in the details”

The Polish Wind Energy Association (PWEA), comprising wind energy stakeholders in Poland and abroad (including investors, developers, turbine and component manufacturers) has responded to the latest amendment.

“The idea is good, but the devil is in the details,” the Association’s Vice President, Wojciech Cetnarski said. “As of today, this amendment does not answer many questions, many issues remain unsettled. But it is a good sign, we treat it as an invitation to further talks.”

In July, the Polish government unveiled the draft “10H” amendment act, which aims to facilitate onshore wind projects. The new measures would amend the so-called 10H rule, introduced in 2016, which led to the collapse of Poland’s new onshore wind investments – previously among the highest in Europe.

Experts have warned that without changing the onshore wind law, Poland will likely “compromise 2030 climate targets” on the EU level and disrupt the continent’s efforts to reduce fossil fuel import dependency.

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