The Sejm approved a 700-metre setback distance – the distance between a wind turbine and the nearest housing – last week. It now needs to be signed into law by the Polish president.
An earlier iteration of the bill advocated by the upper house of the parliament – the Senat – would have set this distance at 500 metres.
Previously a 2016 rule on residential proximity to wind turbines mandated they could be built no closer to a home than 10 times a turbine’s height – the so-called 10H rule.
Wind industry groups supported reforming the 10H rule but warned a setback distance greater than 500 metres would continue to stunt the roll-out of onshore wind in the country.
“Any higher distance (than 500 metres) would mess up the prospects for new onshore wind and the targets the government has set for it. Poland would then miss its wider energy security targets and would remain too exposed to energy imports from outside of Europe,” industry body WindEurope previously argued.
The EU is urging member states to rapidly deploy the installation of new renewable energy projects as it seeks to hit a European Commission target of generating 45% of the bloc’s energy demands from renewables by 2030.
Poland however is still heavily reliant on fossil fuels.
Fossil fuels made up 85% of its total energy supply in 2020 according to the International Energy Agency (IEA), including coal (40%), oil (28%) and natural gas (17%).