Poland

Poland

Polish renewables act update 'encouraging'

POLAND: Amendments to Poland's Renewable Energy Sources Act (RES Act) will cut costs for investors, but stipulations ensuring a minimum distance between new wind farms and residences remain.

Poland’s lower house, the Sejm, initially passed the amendment in early June (pic credit: wikimedia commons)
Poland’s lower house, the Sejm, initially passed the amendment in early June (pic credit: wikimedia commons)

The update to the country’s RES Act means real estate tax paid on new and already-permitted wind farms will no longer apply to the entire turbine, cutting costs for investors.

Tax will instead be levied on the tower and foundations in line with pre-2017 legislation.

It also paves the way for auctions to take place — with the Polish Wind Energy Association (PSEW) anticipating a 1GW onshore tender to take place in the autumn, and possibly an offshore tender in 2019.

Furthermore, building permits for wind farms granted prior to rule changes in 2016 will be extended until 2021. This would enable them to take place in auctions, the PSEW suggested.

However, the amendment, signed by president Andrzej Duda on 1 July, does not end strict rules demanding wind farms be located ten times the height of the turbines from nearby communities.

Poland’s lower house, the Sejm, passed the amendment by a margin of 430-2, with one abstention in early June. Its Senate then adopted the amendment by a 56-26 majority before president Duda signed it into law.

"There are still issues that need to be addressed, but we are now hoping we are on a good path to more discussions," a PSEW spokeswoman told Windpower Monthly.

The governing Law & Justice party (PiS) passed a law in 2016 stipulating wind farms must be at least ten times the turbines’ height from houses and natural protected sites.

It also extended the property tax paid by wind farm investors to the investment value of the entire turbine.

This tripled or even quadrupled investment costs, according to PSEW. It also led to just 41MW of new capacity being added in 2017, pushing Polish cumulative installations to 6.4GW.  The 2017 figure was down from 682MW in 2016 and 1,266MW one year earlier.

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