Warsaw, 6 April 2022
Opinion of the Chief Energy Technology Specialist at The ZPP: achieving energy autonomy requires additional legislative action
On Thursday, 31 March, a signing ceremony took place for an appeal to unlock investment opportunities in onshore wind energy. Known as ’10H law’, it can be considered a key piece of legislation for the Polish energy sector in the context of the country’s current geopolitical situation. As a result of the war in Ukraine, energy independence is becoming a priority both politically and economically. This is an aspect that requires us to act in an extremely quick and focused manner.
The only sources that can rapidly replenish our energy balance in the near future – significantly increasing the supply of energy – are onshore wind farms and large-scale solar sources. ZPP has been calling for a special legislative priority to streamline these investments for a long time, presenting the benefits for the entire Polish economy of such projects.
In the face of a rapidly increasing green energy deficit, both of these sources are crucial, especially for companies exporting to European markets. Investments in the developing distributed energy also have an impact on the security level in the country. The war in Ukraine has shown how easy it is to take over large power stations and the consequences this can have on a security level in the country. In contrast, it is more difficult to disrupt a million of small, distributed solar and wind installations.
We believe that every action towards increasing security and achieving energy independence in Poland should be strongly supported, hence our decision to join the appeal for a quick unblocking of investment in onshore wind energy. This is particularly important if we want to save a certain proportion of our coal-fired power generation from political death, and thus obtain the Union’s approval to extend the process of moving away from coal. Only consistent action in this area can ensure our energy autonomy.
The development of distributed energy will be important for the entire Polish economy, provided that it is an integral part of the whole programme of energy transformation in the country. The recently presented assumptions for the revision of the Energy Policy of Poland assume dynamic development of this form of energy, so we hope that the rapid restoration of investment opportunities for onshore wind energy will be one of the most important objectives of the Polish government.
We would like to once again draw attention to the enormous potential offered by the development of large-scale solar sources on post-industrial areas. A large part of these places is in the hands of state-owned companies with investment and connection capacities. The only problem in this case is the exceedingly long time it takes to obtain building permit.
Legislative shortening of the deadlines for issuing these permits on post-industrial and post-mining sites would give us an additional 4 to 5 GW of green power in just 3 to 4 years. Amending the Wind Power Investment Act that would liberalise the 10H rule provide another 5 – 7 GW of capacity, thus making the achievement of 20 – 25 GW of installed green powers in 2027 fully feasible. This, in turn, translates into 40 to 45 terawatt hours of energy per year, which would come from distributed onshore installations.
Based on the above calculations, it can be assumed that in 2027 we would be able to produce 25-30% of our energy solely from land-based, distributed and renewable sources, and this would already constitute a clear step towards Poland’s energy sovereignty. We turn to the decision-makers and urge them to act quickly in proceeding and passing the necessary legislation that will enable us to achieve autonomy in the area of energy supply.
Chief Energy Technology Specialist at the ZPP