Government greenlights wind-farm bill

Darek Delmanowicz/PAP

The Polish government has approved a bill loosening the distancing rules for onshore wind farms.

The liberalisation of onshore wind farm location rules is one the "milestones", or conditions, included in Poland's National Recovery Plan, which had been agreed upon with the European Commission and outlines how Poland intends to spend EU post-pandemic recovery funding.

The much-awaited bill liberalises the contested so-called 10H rule, which forbids the construction of onshore wind farms at a distance from residential buildings less than at least 10 times the height of a turbine, by reducing that minimum distance to 500 metres.

At the same time, at the request of Poland's grid operator, PSE, the adopted bill determines new minimum requirements for distancing turbines from the power grid.

A location for a new wind farm must be included in the Local Spatial Development Plan (MPZP), according to the bill.

The basic minimum distance of the wind farm from a residential building is to be maintained, not less than that determined by the 10H rule, but the MPZP will be able to define a different distance, taking into account the absolute minimum safety distance specified in the bill.

Climate and Environment Minister Anna Moskwa told press conference on Tuesday that the new rules will "free up land for the construction of wind farms" and enable adding 6-10 GW in onshore wind capacity to 2030.