In our previous blog post, we discussed a new study indicating the significant potential of solar power in the coal regions of Europe such as Poland. Coming close behind comes the news that onshore wind now looks set for renewed growth in Poland.
The reason is that at the end of July, Poland’s lower house of Parliament approved an important revision to the Renewables Act. On August 2, the Senate – the upper house of the Polish Parliament – passed the law. It is now waiting for the signature of the President.
The legislation includes plans for Poland to hold an auction in 2019 for 2.5 GW of new onshore wind capacity. This was welcomed by WindEurope Chief Policy Officer Pierre Tardieu: “This 2.5 GW onshore wind auction builds on their last auction in November 2018 which showed that onshore wind is very competitive on price: it’s now cheaper than new coal and nuclear. The Polish Government clearly sees an important role for both onshore and offshore wind in meeting their rising energy demand.”
The legislation includes a number of other important changes, in particular extending deadlines for interconnection agreements which are key to the viability of projects bidding into the upcoming auction.
It also set rules strengthening the Guarantees of Origin (GOs) scheme. GOs are key to enable the growth of corporate renewable Power Purchase Agreements (PPAs) with wind farms, as corporates need assurances that they are sourcing clean electricity. In return, corporate renewable PPAs offer wind farms stable revenues.
Poland is facing rising electricity demand and aims to increase total power capacity from 40 GW to 73 GW by 2040. The Polish Wind Energy Association believes the 2.5 GW onshore wind auction will “probably take place in November or December.”
However, Pierre Tardieu did express a note of caution: “The stringent set-back distance law on wind turbines will need fixing to allow for future growth beyond this year’s auction,” he added. This relates to the fact that wind farms in Poland must be located at least ten times the height of the turbines from nearby communities, according to current rules. However, the Polish deputy energy minister has gone on the record saying the government plans to amend the country’s setback rule.
More on Poland
To discover more about climate change actions in Poland, the Tipping Point is an award-winning documentary that you might like to watch on YouTube. While giving examples of how different countries in Europe have implemented projects to tackle climate change – some of which are within Poland – it also starkly displays the complications that are hindering the implementation of climate policy consistent with EU targets in Poland.