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The Sejm, Poland’s lower house of parliament, has maintained a distancing rule of 700 metres for onshore wind farms, instead of implementing the more ambitious rule that was initially intended.
In 2016, Poland introduced a distancing rule requiring the distance between a wind turbine and the nearest houses to be at least ten times the maximum height of the turbine (the so-called 10H rule). This caused a significant decline in wind turbine development in the country, prompting the European Commission – the EU’s executive arm – to make the relaxation of this rule a ‘milestone’ for the distribution of EUR 35 billion of EU post-pandemic funding to Poland.
The government proposed a bill with a 500-metre minimum distance requirement, but the Sejm raised it to 700 metres. However, the Senate then reverted the distance to 500 metres. Finally, the Sejm rejected the amendment on Thursday, thus ending the legislative process in the Parliament.
However, the legislation keeps the 10H rule as the minimum distance to national parks.
Furthermore, the investor must allocate a minimum of 10% of the total capacity of the wind farm to local communities as part of the virtual prosumer scheme.
The bill will now go to the president for the final signature.