Energy Regulatory Office announced that at the end of June this year total capacity of installed wind power in Poland amounted to 1005.6 MW. Achieving this level of wind power took more than five years, as according to the data of the regulator still at the end of 2005 the installed capacity of wind farms was barely 83.28 MW.
However, the dynamics of connection of new wind farms has been growing over time. At the end of 2006 the installed capacity of wind farms was 152.56 MW, in 2007 it was 287.91 MW, but in 2008 – already 451 MW and at the end of 2009 – approximately 724.6 MW. It means that during the first half of the current year the capacity of wind power was increased by approx. 281 MW, which is almost as many as was installed in total to the end of 2007.
At the end of June this year the installed capacity of wind farms, that is 1005.6 MW, accounted for approx. 44% of total capacity of polish installations using renewable energy sources, which amounts to 2281,79 MW, not including co-combustion installations.
According a report published by the Polish Wind Energy Association in November 2009, 13 GW of wind energy could be installed in Poland by 2020.
Wind power is the only renewable energy technology in Poland ready to attract significant investment, and there is a substantial pipeline of large wind farms spread evenly over the area of the entire country.
These wind farm projects could be commissioned relatively soon and will make an important contribution to meeting Poland’s target mandated by the new EU Renewable Energy Directive.
In 2009, the Polish wind turbines market continued its growth by adding 181 MW of new capacity, taking total installations up to 724,6 MW. 864 GWh of wind power were produced in 2009.
New wind farms installed in 2009 include a number of large scale developments in the region of Zachodniopomorskie (Western Pomerania) in northwest Poland, such as a 32 MW wind farm in Œniatovo (using 2 MW Vestas wind turbines), a 69 MW wind farm in Karœcino (using 1.5 MW Fuhrländer wind turbines) and a 50 MW wind farm in Tychowo (using 2MW Nordex wind turbines).
Other large wind farms became operational in Podlaskie in the north east of Poland (a 41.4 MW wind farm in Suwa³ki, using 2.3 MW Siemens wind turbines) and in Wielkopolskie (a 20 MW wind farm in Margonin, using Gamesa 2 MW wind turbines).
Wind farms in Poland
22 wind farms currently operate in Poland, and there are also single wind turbines or clusters of small wind turbines spread across the country. The table below shows those with 20 MW or more.
Location-Capacity (MW )
Zaj¹czkowo & Widzino-90
Poland depends on coal for 95% of its electricity production. According to the new EU Directive, Poland needs 15% of its final energy consumption to come from renewable energy by 2020, up from 7.2% in 2005.
To date, the country has renewable energy production from biomass, biogas, wind power and hydropower. In 2000, the Polish government introduced a power purchase obligation for renewable energy sources, which was first amended in 2003, and again in August 2008.
This requires energy suppliers to provide a certain minimum share of power generated by renewable sources (from 3.1% in 2005 up to 10.4% in 2010 and 12.9% in 2017).
While failure to comply with this legislation should, in theory, lead to penalties, the European Commission’s 2007 report found that fines were not enforced.
In 2005, the Polish Law on Energy (1997) was amended to introduce an obligation for all renewable energy producers, regardless of the size of the installations, to obtain a license from the Energy Regulation Authority.
Following this new requirement, more than 600 producers of renewable energy applied for and received licenses for producing electricity from renewable sources.
In January 2010, the Polish Sejm (lower house of Parliament) approved a new act amending the Energy Law, and most of the changes came into force in March 2010.
The main provisions of this amendment concern electricity trading, grid connection agreements and related charges, agricultural biogas and new tools and rules to enable the Transmission System Operator (TSO) to secure the electricity supply.
Regarding renewable energy projects, new provisions were introduced in regards to advance payments on interconnection fees. In addition, entities seeking grid connection now have to prove their ability to develop new generation capacity, which could put wind farm developers at a disadvantage, and there are fears that this new instrument could form a barrier to investment of wind energy.
In August 2009, the Polish government also published a strategic document entitled “Energy policy of Poland up to 2030”), which is a starting point for a debate on the country’s energy strategy. The main priorities outlined in this document concern energy security, economic competitiveness, nuclear power, increasing the use of renewable energy sources and environmental protection.
The document also sets out a target of 15% of RES in final energy consumption by 2020, and a 20% share by 2030.The Polish government is currently working on a new amendment to the Energy Law which would implement the provisions of the new EU Renewables Directive.
The objective is for this to be adopted by the end of 2010, but it is unclear if this deadline will be met.Obstacles for wind energy development in PolandSome 6% of the area with the best wind conditions in Poland is situated in nature reserve areas (NATURA 2000), and while this does not prohibit the construction of wind farms in these areas, it makes it more difficult.As in many other countries, grid infrastructure development is also an issue in Poland.
The main problem is the lack of an effective mechanism which would oblige grid operators to focus their investments on increasing the operational security of the electricity system and to allow for grid access for wind energy producers. There are also no clear and transparent rules for determining and allocating costs between grid operators and power producers.
For offshore wind energy, limitations mainly arise from the protected nature reserve areas, weak grid infrastructure in the north of the country and numerous administrative barriers.
Based on the number of applications received by the Polish Energy Regulatory Office for issuing licenses for wind farms, a big increase in wind power generating capacity is expected in the near future.
In the period up to 2013, support schemes currently available to investors, including EU cohesion funds (Operational Programme Infrastructure and Environment) and structural funds (Regional Operational Programmes) will help drive wind power growth.
However, the most rapid increase is predicted between 2014-2020, when even more significant financing will become available from the EU funds, in particular from structural funds.While onshore wind is expected to grow at a healthy rate, no offshore developments are foreseen until 2018, when about 500 MW will be developed.
By 2020, offshore wind power capacity could reach 1,500 MW.The Polish Wind Energy Association predicts very dynamic growth of installed capacity in the wind power sector, amounting to about 13 GW in 2020). The figure comprises almost 11 GW of onshore wind farms, 1.5 GW in offshore wind and 600 MW of small wind.