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Poland adopts new onshore wind law – what’s next for the industry?

The onshore wind act, which introduces a new regulatory framework for the Polish onshore wind industry, was signed by the President of Poland, Andrzej Duda, on Monday (13 March) following last week’s vote in Poland’s lower legislative chamber (Sejm).

The new law will enable onshore wind farms to be installed within a minimum 700-metre distance from buildings on the basis of a local spatial development plan, liberalising the former ’10H’ legislation which prohibited the installation of wind turbines within a distance of 10 times their length (for example, a minimum distance of 2,000 metres).

The legislation gives a green light to new investments in Poland’s onshore wind industry, which was restricted in almost 99 per cent of areas suitable for onshore wind farm installations under the previous regulations.

However, according to analysis from the Polish Wind Energy Association (PWEA) prior to the law’s adoption, the 700-metre will still reduce the availability for installed capacity by approximately 60-70 per cent. The ‘700-metre rule’ was adopted despite lobbying efforts from the PWEA and international investors to reserve the rule back to 500 metres.

The final text of the legislation also included the proposal for investors to provide at least 10 per cent of installed capacity to the residents of the local authority in which the wind farm is located.

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