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Windmill Act. The 700 meter amendment will throw 84% of of plans – analysis by Urban Consulting

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MPs are working on a bill to improve access to green energy from windmills, but according to experts, the change introduced by them will have the opposite effect. The minimum distance from buildings according to the latest amendment is to be increased from 500 to 700 meters. According to the analysis of Urban Consulting, this change will result in as many as 84 percent. zoning plans will go to the trash.

According to the authors, in four voivodships all prepared plans will be thrown into the bin – Mazowieckie, Kujawsko-Pomorskie, Śląskie and Małopolskie.

Adopting the amendment changing the minimum distance of the windmill from buildings from 500 to 700 meters, politicians will decide to throw away 84 percent. from applicable local plans. In the scale of selected provinces, this means even 100 percent. Instead of planning where it was previously planned, we will plan next, anew, and it will take years to come, according to an analysis by Urban Consulting.

As a result of the so-called of the distance act, all local spatial development plans providing for the possibility of locating wind farms have become impossible to use. Unlocking at least some of them is a chance to shorten the investment process by at least 2-3 years.

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Wind farms in Poland. Changing the law will change investmentsPolish Wind Energy Association

Wind energy still blocked?

The degree of unblocking depends on one parameter – the minimum distance between residential buildings and the wind farm. Here, meters are very important, because a large part of the plans was prepared taking into account the minimum distance of 500 m, which before 2016 was not a law, but a good practice.

As noted by Urban Consulting, not only time is important here. The areas currently covered by the provisions of local plans allowing the location of wind farms are areas that have been environmentally tested, with signed lease agreements and obtained social acceptance. As stated in the analysis, these are areas where no residential development was planned in recent years, as restrictions introduced by the Distance Act were in force.

– Adoption of the amendment to change the minimum distance from windmills from 500 to 700 meters means further blocking of onshore wind energy. Only 500 meters, widely consulted and approved by the government and local government, guaranteed new megawatts of wind already within 2 years, and in the following years even up to 22 GW – says Janusz Gajowiecki, president of the Polish Wind Energy Association.

Keeping the minimum distance of 700 meters will mean that by 2030 no more than 4 gigawatts of new wind capacity will be created. In comparison, maintaining the government’s originally proposed distance of 500m would mean chance to build over 10 GW of new onshore wind farms during this timewhich is more than doubling the current Polish capacity of this type, according to the analysis of the Ember think-tank.

On Tuesday, February 7, the Sejm resumes work on amending the act liberalizing the distance act.

Main photo source: Shutterstock

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