The current law on investments in wind farms introduced one of the most restrictive distance rules in Europe – the so-called the 10H principle, i.e. ten times the height of a wind turbine as the minimum distance of a new investment from existing housing and forms of nature protection.
The 10H rule prohibits the construction of wind turbines at distances less than ten times their total height (the highest point reached by the rotating blades). In practice, this means a ban on placing wind turbines within 1.5-2 km of industrial buildings and protected areas. Therefore, in March of this year, self-governing economic organizations and wind energy companies called for the unblocking of onshore wind energy and the change of the 10H rule.
The minimum distance is set at 500 m
In mid-June, the Standing Committee of the Council of Ministers approved the draft amendment to the so-called Distance Act, which relaxes the provisions of the 10H rule, limiting the options for building wind turbines. – We want the project to follow the government path as soon as possible and be submitted for work in parliament – said the spokesman for the Ministry of Climate, Aleksander Brzózka.
The draft maintains the principle of the location of a new wind farm solely on the basis of the Local Spatial Development Plan (MPZP) and maintains the general rule of 10H, but in special cases municipalities should decide on the location of wind farms as part of the local planning procedure. The minimum distance from wind turbines to buildings has been set at 500 m.
The Ministry of Climate emphasized that making the so-called The 10H principle is crucial for the further development of onshore wind technology and the possibility of using cheap energy for industry. On the other hand, the new regulations should also ensure an appropriate level of control over this process by municipalities and the local community, as well as an appropriate level of safety of the operation of the wind farm with full information on the planned investment for residents of municipalities where wind installations.
— GRYGLAS Zbigniew (@ZGryglas) June 14, 2022
Additional 27 thousand km2 of area
According to the calculations of the portal globenergia.pl, the approval of regulations in this form will free up to 88 percent. land blocked by the 10H Act. That yields an extra 27 thousand. km2 of space available for new wind projects.
Unblocking the development of onshore wind energy is also an opportunity to accelerate Poland’s energy transformation. The report of the Polish Wind Energy Association shows that under the best development scenario, new wind farms will guarantee GDP growth of PLN 70-133 billion, PLN 490-935 million additional revenue for local governments, about PLN 80 billion for product orders and services in the supply chain and 51 to 97 thou. new jobs by 2030
Equally importantly, the ban under the law works both ways, as it also prohibits building residential buildings less than 10H from existing wind turbines.
The amendment of the regulations is therefore, on the one hand, to remove obstacles to the realization of new wind farms and, on the other hand, to offer municipalities the option of setting up land in the vicinity of wind farms for development.
The war in Ukraine has changed a lot in the European energy sector. Energy prices have risen, energy independence is at the top of the agenda. Under these circumstances, we expect a very dynamic development of wind energy – says Nils de Baar, CEO of Vestas Northern & Central Europe pic.twitter.com/CoSenjgOAO
— PWEA (@PSEW_PWEA) June 14, 2022
“The no-damage rule must be enforced”
A few days ago, Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki, when asked during a meeting with residents of the Greater Poland Circle about the so-called the Distance Law, admitted that the draft is “in the legislative process”, but “the votes are strongly divided”.
– Even if there is some liberalization, it should definitely be done in agreement with the local communities so that there are no instances of placing these windmills in front of someone’s home. So the no-harm principle must be maintained here, the head of government said.
– Yes, economic freedom, energy from windmills – all very important – but the freedom of normal life, normal functioning of a person, household, village, city, is also a superior value and you have to reconcile these two values other , you have to find a compromise between them – underlined by Mateusz Morawiecki.
According to Ireneusz Zyska, the government’s plenipotentiary for renewables, the draft approved by the Standing Committee of the Council of Ministers has a chance of making its way to the Sejm in the near future.
PR24.pl, PAP, globenergia.pl, DoS