A New Opening For Wind Energy: 5 Principles of a Good Wind Energy Act

by dbereza

A New Opening For Wind Energy: 5 Principles of a Good Wind Energy Act

by dbereza

by dbereza
The attack on wind energy and the use thereof in political combat consciously jeopardizes energy security of Poland. Today, wind energy is needed to lower electricity bills and increase our sovereignty.
Rapid unblocking of wind energy potential is crucial for limiting electricity prices — therefore, provisions unblocking wind energy were included in the act de-freezing energy prices. It contains measures addressing both the effects and reasons of extraordinarily high prices.
Responsible wind energy development, respecting spatial planning rules, local communities’ interests and environmental protection is crucial for Polish Wind Energy Association. Poland and its citizens need wind energy development more than ever — therefore, we will promote social acceptance of the draft. We protest against using renewable energy for political combat and further polarisation of the community. Therefore, we propose 5 steps to adopt a sound, new act.

 “The wind energy industry is supporting measures taken by investors and developers. However, it is crucial to take into account the interests of inhabitants of the municipalities where wind farms are to be built, for we know that social acceptance is key to new investments. Therefore, to pursue the established goals the wind energy industry adopted the Code of Good Practices that emphasizes these values and expresses long-term approach of the business to local cooperation with all stakeholders, said Janusz Gajowiecki, PWEA President.

The wind energy industry emphasizes 5 key values of wind energy development in Poland:
  1. Safe Distance. Wind farms should be located at a minimum distance of 500 metres from residential development. Acoustic impact, which may require a larger distance, needs to be taken into account. With state-of-the-art wind turbines, acoustic analysis results in a distance of 500 to 700 metres.

The minimum distance of 500 metres from buildings has been broadly consulted and accepted by the public, local governments and the wind energy industry and approved by the Joint Committee of the Government and Local Governments. The change from 700 m to 500 m will increase the area available for onshore wind farms in Poland by 100%. The 200 metres increases the area of the country open to potential investments from 2% to 4%.

  1. Full and Clear Planning Path. The wind energy industry is asking for a transparent and regulated planning process that will maintain order in municipalities. Two options enabling the location of wind farms will make this possible: the use of a local spatial development plan, and the so-called integrated plan. No shortcuts should be taken without public consultations — the inhabitants have the right to know the details of a project planned in their area.
  2. Funds for Municipalities. Municipalities where wind farms are built secure a fixed source of revenue for 25–30 years. The revenues include, among others, real property taxes. This enables better financial management and long-term investment planning. Revenues from wind farms enable investments in roads, sewage, playgrounds, libraries etc.
  3. Less Expensive Electricity for Inhabitants. When prices of electricity from conventional sources skyrocket, renewable energy becomes less and less expensive. The trend may be sustained by technological progress which increases turbine efficiency. By including so-called “virtual prosumers” in the act, investors will have to offer 10 percent of capacity to inhabitants of the municipality where the wind turbine is built. Such proposals should also benefit adjacent municipalities as well as cooperatives and energy clusters.
  4. Wind Turbines Subject to Office of Technical Supervision Inspections. In accordance with the new regulations, prior to commencing operation of a wind turbine the investor will be obliged to obtain a decision allowing the operation, issued by the Office of Technical Supervision upon the investor’s request.
To recapitulate:
Poland is struggling with high electricity prices, and last year we paid PLN 193 billion for fuel import. Additionally, last year the state budget, hence all citizens, subsidised almost PLN 70 billion to consumption. Subsidies to electricity prices need to be replaced with long-term investments, otherwise we may be facing escalating energy crisis. It is good that the new government decided to prioritise the issue.

Wind energy is a source of clean, least expensive, and safe electricity for Poland. Unleashing its potential with social acceptance will bring benefits for the Polish economy and the community. Wind, a truly zero-emission source of energy, should become one of the key tools used to combat excessive CO2 emissions and high electricity prices in Poland. The wind energy crisis, caused by politicians from the far right in times when development of energy independence and struggle for clean air is called for, is extremely irresponsible and harming to Poland’s security.

The minimum distance between wind turbines and residential development of 500 metres and taking acoustic impact into account is the best compromise. Such a solution has already been agreed with the previous government. However, the minimum distance of 700 metres was introduced at the very last moment.

The introduction of 500 metres to the draft will increase the area available for onshore wind farms in Poland by 100%. The 200 metres increases the area of the country open to potential investments from 2% to 4%. We cannot resign from the potential of wind energy, which effectively decreases electricity prices in Poland and guarantees energy security.

The world is betting on green energy, which is confirmed by 118 states, including Poland, signing a commitment at COP28 to triple the production of electricity from renewable sources by 2030 — which is a paradox, for the Law and Justice government, which signed the declaration, continues to attack and block energy sources constituting its pillar…